This curry paste is the result of my delight at finding a lovely, flavourful orange chilli pepper at my local Asian grocer here in Toronto Chinatown East. I had heard of orange chillies from Asia before, but never had the fortune of encountering them during my forays into Asian food markets. Eager to experiment, I purchased it and all of the other ingredients common in curry pastes. Note that this is not strictly Thai; orange curries are generally water- or broth-based and made with a very conservative number of ingredients, deriving their spiciness in actuality from red chillies. The curry paste here is of my own creation, and is intended to be fried in coconut cream in order to properly release its flavours. It is similar to a red curry paste, but with the ingredients modified slightly to account for the milder flavour and colour of the chillies, but it could certainly be used in very similar ways with good results.
- 8 orange chillies, halved and deseeded
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp galangal (Thai ginger), peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp turmeric, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp krachai (wild ginger), chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 lime leaves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp coriander roots, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
Roast first the coriander seeds, and subsequently the cumin. Roasting individually prevents burning of one or the other. Run through a spice grinder or pound in a mortar and pestle.
Add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender in the order listed. Blend until finely chopped. When volume is reduced and blender / processor is no longer breaking things down adequately, transfer to a mortar and pestle and pound until a paste is achieved.