Thai Green Curry Paste

by Jenn on May 11, 2010

in Dairy Free,Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

PAG_0762curry2

Before I made this, the last time I used a mortar and pestle was in chemistry class.  I felt oddly alchemic (is that even a word?) while making this curry paste, continually turning and grinding – this is a process that is slow, repetitive, meditative even.  I found it surprisingly therapeutic – though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as I find most activities in the kitchen relaxing (well, except dishes – dishes are evil).  I sat at my dining table (since I have like 0 counter-space), opened the window, and felt the breezes of the next Spring storm against my face, enjoying the last few bits of sunshine before the rain clouds rolled back in.  Oh and the aromas wafting up from the blending of all of the flavors was incredible!   Ground coriander seeds have a bright fresh, almost even lemony scent – add in some lemongrass, cilantro leaves, a little basil, and one ends up with bright fresh green flavors whose aromas fill the entire room.

The key to using a mortar & pestle is taking your time, and actually not using that much force.  I ground up salt/spices first before gradually adding in the wetter ingredients like onions, garlic, and the herbs – I think the salt/spices helped to act as an abrasive which aided me greatly when working with the other ingredients.  Oh and it’s also useful to mince everything up as finely as you can first – it’s a lot of chopping, but well worth it.  How did this compare to the jarred stuff?  It was more fresh, more vibrant, more full of flavor, and made for one heck of a curry sauce :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Cook with Madin May 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Hi, I agree with you comparing this recipe to jarred stuff. This is more fresh. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

Yes, some things are definitely worth making from scratch, this is one of them! I hope you like it!

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Cook with Madin May 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Hi, I agree with you comparing this recipe to jarred stuff. This is more fresh. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

Yes, some things are definitely worth making from scratch, this is one of them! I hope you like it!

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Helen May 11, 2010 at 9:49 pm

That looks wonderful. I used to make green curry paste but have not done for ages, and yes it is wonderfully fresh!

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

Thanks! I’m curious how you made yours – truth be told I just kinda put ingredients in that felt right…I’m curious how this compares to a more authentic version…

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Helen May 11, 2010 at 9:49 pm

That looks wonderful. I used to make green curry paste but have not done for ages, and yes it is wonderfully fresh!

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

Thanks! I’m curious how you made yours – truth be told I just kinda put ingredients in that felt right…I’m curious how this compares to a more authentic version…

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Valérie May 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I make my own red curry and curry powder, but I’ve never tried making green curry paste. I’m sure it tastes amazing!

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

Thanks! A red one is next on my list!

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Valérie May 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I make my own red curry and curry powder, but I’ve never tried making green curry paste. I’m sure it tastes amazing!

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

Thanks! A red one is next on my list!

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Rosa May 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I love to make my own curry in a mortar. I bet it tasted wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

It did! I think I will be using a mortar & pestle much more now too :)

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Rosa May 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I love to make my own curry in a mortar. I bet it tasted wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

It did! I think I will be using a mortar & pestle much more now too :)

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Joe Ambrosino May 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

A great recipe. I confess I do not own a mortar and pestle. I know it isn’t the same, but I would use my food processor which I also use to make pesto with.In your opinion, do I lose a lot in taste by being too high tech?

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I don’t think you would lose flavor by using a food processor – however it may be hard to get the exact same texture of a completely smooth paste – I know my food processor cannot completely grind spices (you could always buy ground ones, but they typically are less “potent”) for example…the pic above is a little deceiving because it’s a “half-way done” pic – a bowl of green blob didn’t look that photogenic, however when done it really was a smooth paste.

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Joe Ambrosino May 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

A great recipe. I confess I do not own a mortar and pestle. I know it isn’t the same, but I would use my food processor which I also use to make pesto with.In your opinion, do I lose a lot in taste by being too high tech?

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Jenn May 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I don’t think you would lose flavor by using a food processor – however it may be hard to get the exact same texture of a completely smooth paste – I know my food processor cannot completely grind spices (you could always buy ground ones, but they typically are less “potent”) for example…the pic above is a little deceiving because it’s a “half-way done” pic – a bowl of green blob didn’t look that photogenic, however when done it really was a smooth paste.

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Shree May 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

oooohh thank you for sharing the recipe!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:47 am

Your welcome!

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Shree May 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

oooohh thank you for sharing the recipe!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:47 am

Your welcome!

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Jaime May 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

I once made green curry like this, I went to a cooking class in Chang Mai Thailand. The food was out of this world. One of the best culinary experiences in my life.

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

Oh wow, what an experience that must’ve been!

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Jaime May 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

I once made green curry like this, I went to a cooking class in Chang Mai Thailand. The food was out of this world. One of the best culinary experiences in my life.

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

Oh wow, what an experience that must’ve been!

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Linn @ Swedish home cooking May 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm

To make your own green curry paste sounds way much better than buying store bought. I have to try your recipe!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks – I hope you like it!!

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Linn @ Swedish home cooking May 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm

To make your own green curry paste sounds way much better than buying store bought. I have to try your recipe!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks – I hope you like it!!

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Anna May 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

First congrats on the top 9, your picture looks amazing.make the paste from scratch was genius. Definitely taking my M&P out of the cupboard. :-D

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

Thanks so much!

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Anna May 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

First congrats on the top 9, your picture looks amazing.make the paste from scratch was genius. Definitely taking my M&P out of the cupboard. :-D

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

Thanks so much!

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Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron May 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Hi Jen. I must say this is very impressive! I’m Thai but I don’t even know how to make a curry paste from scratch, shame on me! I even wondered more how many Thai restaurants out there actually make their own paste. Impressive!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

Thank you so much! Hmmm I wonder as well now that you mention it….

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Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron May 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Hi Jen. I must say this is very impressive! I’m Thai but I don’t even know how to make a curry paste from scratch, shame on me! I even wondered more how many Thai restaurants out there actually make their own paste. Impressive!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

Thank you so much! Hmmm I wonder as well now that you mention it….

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latte to tea May 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Wow! I didn’t know about making curry paste. Thank you for the post. In Japan, we have a similar tool. You inspire to find it and use it from somewhere in my kitchen.

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:53 am

Truth me told I didn’t either until I just decided I should try it :) What do you make in Japanese cuisine that uses a similar tool? I’m all about using my mortar and pestle now and would like to try out some other new things as well!

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latte to tea May 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Wow! I didn’t know about making curry paste. Thank you for the post. In Japan, we have a similar tool. You inspire to find it and use it from somewhere in my kitchen.

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:53 am

Truth me told I didn’t either until I just decided I should try it :) What do you make in Japanese cuisine that uses a similar tool? I’m all about using my mortar and pestle now and would like to try out some other new things as well!

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Simply Life May 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Oh I would never know how to make this – looks great!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks! Yes it was surprisingly easy – just took a bit of time is all!

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Simply Life May 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Oh I would never know how to make this – looks great!

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Jenn May 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks! Yes it was surprisingly easy – just took a bit of time is all!

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Katty's Kitchen May 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Makes me wish I had a bigger mortar & pestle! Agree using one feels somewhat meditative…I’ve been muddling many mint leaves of late. :) I’d love to try this!

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Jenn May 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

Oooh mint leaves! I see some mojitos in my future now…

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Katty's Kitchen May 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Makes me wish I had a bigger mortar & pestle! Agree using one feels somewhat meditative…I’ve been muddling many mint leaves of late. :) I’d love to try this!

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Jenn May 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

Oooh mint leaves! I see some mojitos in my future now…

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 18, 2010 at 2:47 am

Making your own Thai curry pastes is always the best!

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Jenn May 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

Thanks Kevin! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, ever. If I could incorporate them into a dish every day I’d be a very happy person.

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 18, 2010 at 2:47 am

Making your own Thai curry pastes is always the best!

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Jenn May 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

Thanks Kevin! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, ever. If I could incorporate them into a dish every day I’d be a very happy person.

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Magic of Spice May 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Love curry, sounds great

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Magic of Spice May 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Love curry, sounds great

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