Saturday, September 1, 2012

Khrueng Kaeng เครื่องแกง Thai Curry Pastes



Spring is officially here and we are enjoying a mild and sunny 16 C day here in Melbourne. Another thing worth celebrating is the pageviews for this blog has continued to climb at a rate of 30% each month.

To celebrate the arrival of spring and as a token to thank everyone of you for your support I have finally got my acts together to compile a list of spice pastes used in cooking kaeng or known in the west as Thai curries. This turned out to be a difficult and confusing process as my handwritten notes are decades old and they are either stained or  are fading away, not to mention most do not have the exact quantity for each ingredients.

Kaeng (sometimes written as keang or geang) is a loose term used for many wet dishes; it can be a spicy stew with coconut milk that we generally associate with curries or it can also be as light as a broth sans coconut milk, it can be mild and gentle or fierily hot. In fact Thai Indian curry or kaeng kari (a heavily spiced Indian influenced dish) is the only "curry" dish with the word kari (Tamil for curry which the word derived from) attached.

They are very good quality readymade pastes on the market these days and they are most handy when one feels like making a quick curry without having to go through too much trouble. But if you are feeling diligent and enjoy the process of turning fragrant aromatics into the best homemade curry paste then this might be a good guide for you.... and you be handsomely rewarded as a result of that I promise. 

As to whether to use a mortar and pestle or a food processor, the decision is really yours to make. Though the purists might disagree but I don't think the end results differ too much taste wise but the former does allow one to have a better control of the texture of the finished product.

I will start off with a few better known kaeng with links of recipes using each paste. Other more obscure types of kaeng recipes will be slowly added in the near future.

Keang Khiao Wan  (Sweet Green Curry) 
makes 1 cup
you'll need;
a pinch of salt
5 large green chilies or jalapeno, roughly chopped
20 green bird chilies, roughly chopped
10 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 coriander roots, chopped
2 cm piece of galangal, chopped
1 lemongrass (white part only), chopped
2 pieces of kaffir lime peels, chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp of Thai shrimp paste (kapi)
1 tsp of cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp of white peppercorns, ground
1.5 tbs of coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp of caraway seeds, toasted and ground
a pinch of grated nutmeg

*Start off with the hardest ingredients such as lemongrass and galangal then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. Pound or blend until pureed and well incorporated.
*To toast the spices - heat up a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about a minute.
*Store paste in a sterilized jar and  refrigerated until needed.

recipes using green curry paste

***

Keang Kari (Thai Indian Curry or Yellow Curry)
makes 1 cup
you'll need;
a pinch of salt
4 shallots, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 heads of garlic, roasted and peeled
5 cm piece of ginger, roasted and chopped
1 tsp of caraway seeds, roasted and ground
1 tsp of cumin seeds, roasted and ground
1 tbs of coriander seeds
2 tbs of Madras or Malaysian meat curry powder
2 tsp of turmeric powder
20 dried chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
1 lemongrass (white part only), chopped
2 tsp of Thai shrimp paste

*Start off with the hardest ingredients such as lemongrass and galangal then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. Pound or blend until pureed and well incorporated.
*To toast the spices - heat up a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about a minute.
*Store paste in a sterilized jar and  refrigerated until needed.

recipe for Thai Indian curry in this blog

***

Keang Phet Deang (Spicy Red Curry)
makes 1 cup
you'll need;
a pinch of salt
20 dried chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
10 bird chilies, chopped
2 shallot, peeled and chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
2 pieces of kaffir lime peels, chopped
2 lemongrass (white part only), chopped
2 coriander roots, chopped
1 tsp of caraway seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp of cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1.5 tbs of coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 tsp of Thai shrimp paste

*Start off with the hardest ingredients such as lemongrass and galangal then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. Pound or blend until pureed and well incorporated.
*To toast the spices - heat up a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about a minute.
*Store paste in a sterilized jar and  refrigerated until needed.

recipes using red curry paste

***

Panang (Penang Curry)
makes 1 cup
you'll need;
a pinch of salt
10 cloves of garlic
2 coriander roots, chopped
2 tsp of white peppercorns, toasted and ground
20 dried chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
1 lemongrass (white part only), chopped
3 pieces of kaffir lime peels, chopped
2 cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp of Thai shrimp paste
1/4 cup of unsalted peanut, roasted and ground

*Start off with the hardest ingredients such as lemongrass then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. Pound or blend until pureed and well incorporated.
*To toast the spices - heat up a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about a minute.
*Store paste in a sterilized jar and  refrigerated until needed.

recipes using panang paste

***

Keang Massaman (Muslim Curry)
makes 1 cup
you'll need;
a pinch of salt
4 heads of garlic, roasted and peeled
3 shallots, roasted and peeled
5 cm piece of galangal, roasted, peeled and chopped
5 lemongrass (white part only), chopped
1 bunch of coriander with root, chopped
10 dried chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
20 dried bird chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
zest of 1 kaffir lime, chopped
1.5 tbs of coriander seeds, roasted and ground
1 tsp of cumin seeds, roasted and ground
1 tsp of caraway seeds, roasted and ground
6 cloves, roasted and ground
1 tsp of grated nutmeg
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 tsp of ground mace
3 tsp of Thai shrimp paste

*Start off with the hardest ingredients such as lemongrass and galangal then slowly add in the rest of the ingredients. Pound or blend until pureed and well incorporated.
*To toast the spices - heat up a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about a minute.
*Store paste in a sterilized jar and  refrigerated until needed.

recipe using massaman curry paste
2 Kaeng massaman neur (massaman curry with beef) coming soon

8 comments:

  1. Fantastic post, thanks.

    I have a cookery book with these paste recipe, the first one I made was awful and so have not done it again or tried the rest. Will have to give yours a try.

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  2. This post is a God send. I have been searching for Thai curry paste recipes and I did not know which one to use. I will put my faith in your recipes. Thank you so much!

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  3. Just out of curiosity -- is Panang/Penang means Malaysian curry?

    I only came to know your blog recently but has been enjoying reading all the wonderful receipes

    Cindy

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  4. Thank you very much! I'll try making some soon ::

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  5. Pinning this!! I LOVE green thai curry...but the curries I make at home (with store-bought pastes) always end up either flavorless, or way too spicy to enjoy. Thank you for this!!

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  6. Congratulations! Page-views and nice weather both worth a celebration! Thanks for these great spice recipes...looking forward to trying some!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Did you know you can shorten your long urls with AdFly and get money for every click on your short links.

    ReplyDelete

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