Chef’s Signature Yellow Curry Paste
MAKES 1 CUP.
½ oz dried mild chiles, such as guajillo or puya 1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted ¾ tsp cumin seeds, toasted ¼ tsp white peppercorns 2 tsp curry powder 1 2-inch piece lemongrass, bottom half only, finely sliced
(TIP: Remove fibrous outer layers and slice tender inner portion.) 1 1-inch piece turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped 1 ½-inch piece galangal, roughly chopped 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup chopped shallots
3–4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fermented shrimp
1. Make spice blend: Using a grinder, grind chiles, coriander, cumin and peppercorns until very fine. Stir in curry powder and set aside.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound lemongrass, turmeric, galangal and ginger until fine. Add shallots and garlic and pound into a fine paste. Add ground spices and salt and pound until well combined. If using, add shrimp paste and pound to mix. (Alternatively, place all ingredients in a glass measuring cup and use an immersion blender. You may need to lift and reposition the blender a few times.)