To make a great green curry, it is necessary to have a good quality green curry paste its main ingredient. However, the pastes made at home are far superior.
In the countryside, the striking sound with a steady rhythm of a granite mortar and granite pestle, a common sign of a lady preparing green curry paste, the main ingredient of the green curry. Fresh green chilies (providing wonderfully soft green colour to the green curry as its name), galangal, lemongrasses and makrut lime fruit are often picked freshly from a kitchen garden to ensure the best flavour and aroma. Recipes have been likely in families for generations and often vary slightly from one family to another.
Life has become busier in cities, and curry pastes that used to be prepared traditionally at home are available and obtainable easily in prepared forms at any markets and supermarkets as well as in grocery stores throughout the word, but it is noticeable that those made at home are far superior.
- 25 fresh green bird chilies (fresh green serrano or jalapeno are good substitutes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of peppercorns
- 1 tsp chopped galangal
- 1 tbsp sliced crosswise lemongrass stalks (use the white parts near the root ends)
- ½ tsp citrus zest (use makrut lime zest if available)
- 1 tsp roughly chopped coriander roots (use the stems near the root ends if not available)
- 5 thumb-size shallots, peeled
- 1 tbsp garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- To prepare the ground spices, heat a frying pan over a low-medium heat. Once ready, add the coriander seeds and cumin seeds and stir with a spatula for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and transfer the roasted spices into a granite mortar, add peppercorns and then pound with a granite pestle until ground. Transfer to a small bowl enough to contain the ground spices. Set aside.
- Add the fresh green chilies and salt into the granite mortar and then pound with the granite pestle until ground.
- Add the galangal, lemongrass, citrus zest and coriander roots and then pound until ground.
- Add the shallots and garlic cloves and then pound until ground.
- Add the ground spices (from step No. 1), shrimp paste and pound to incorporate all ingredients and form well a paste.
Tip: If making it in a blender or food processor, grind the roasted spices in a spice grinder before putting into a blender or a food processor together with the other ingredients, and blending everything into a smooth paste (apply a little thick coconut milk to run smoothly).
If do not like hot food, replace the fresh green chilies with 4-5 fresh green cayenne peppers and remove their seeds.