THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Makes: about 1 cup
This key ingredient in many Asian dishes is prized for its complex, spicy kick. To save prep time, skip the traditional mortar-and-pestle method and pulse the ingredients in a food processor to release their flavourful essential oils. The optional shrimp paste adds a delectable umami layer but can be omitted for a vegetarian version.
2½ tbsp coriander seeds 4 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 15 whole green chilies 15 green chilies, seeded 4 makrut lime leaves, thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, smashed 2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and chopped 2 shallots, sliced 2 cups packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (with stems) 2 tbsp chopped peeled galangal or fresh ginger 2 tsp shrimp paste (optional) 1 tsp salt
In dry skillet, toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes; let cool for 5 minutes. In food processor, pulse until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add whole and seeded chilies, lime leaves, garlic, lemongrass, shallots and cilantro. Pulse, occasionally scraping down side, until finely chopped, 3 to 4 minutes. Add galangal, shrimp paste (if using) and salt; pulse until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in glass jar for up to 1 week or portion into ice-cube trays and freeze for up to 6 months.)
PER 1 TBSP: about 17 cal, 1 g pro, trace total fat (0 g sat. fat), 4 g carb (1 g dietary fibre, trace sugar), 0 mg chol, 148 mg sodium, 100 mg potassium. % RDI: 2% calcium, 6% iron, 7% vit A, 13% vit C, 3% folate.