Let me begin by saying that there are a lot of really good Thai yellow curry paste recipes out there that require patience, time, and careful detail. There was a time in my life when I would happily have spent the entire day meticulously collecting ingredients, smoking or roasting them to perfection and grinding them with mortar and pestle in the pursuit of such of the ultimate curry paste AND I would have been happy to do so.
However, times have changed and I have a baby who, when she isn’t teething, she keeps busy by getting into the spicebox, rummaging around in the recycling and reorganizing all items on the coffee table to the floor. Needless to say, if I don’t have time to go pee, than I just don’t have time for those recipes (as wonderful as they are). Still, I love yellow curry and as if true with most things, homemade is best made. So when the 30min or so of the opportunity known as ‘free time’ presents itself to me, I take advantage of it by busting out this Thai yellow curry paste. Whether it for the lazy or for those who are hard-pressed for time, this paste delivers what you are craving with loads of spice and flavor.
2 tbsp sambal belacan paste (Malaysian chili condiment with shrimp paste and lime, should be available in the Asian aisle of the grocery store, online, or markets catered to Asian foods)
3 tbsp cilantro stems (Cilantro stems have a milder flavor than the leaves thus giving you less of a ‘soapy’ flavor, however you need to make sure you washed them well)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp ginger
3 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp shallots
2 stalks lemongrass (about 2 tbsp)
3 tbsp oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed and thoroughly mixed together. Keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for no more than a week or divide mixture into 3tbsp portions and freeze in ziplock bags. As paste does not contain any sugar or salt, remember to season your curry dishes with sugar and fish sauce at the end.