Don’t feel intimidated to make your own curry pastes. They are quick and fun to do and although the commercial variety are extremely cheap, homemade paste has a nicer flavour and you will know exactly what has gone into it. No mystery ingredients if you know what i mean. All you need is a mortar and pestle and a bit of muscle. You can play around with the ingredients a little (nothing is written in stone). Sometimes I add a Birdseye chili or two for some extra punch.
Firstly toast the cummin & coriander seeds in a small pan for 3 or 4 minutes on a very low heat until the aroma is released. set aside.
Remove the course outer layer of the lemon grass. Remove as much of the tip and base that you need leaving only the white section. Slice into fine discs.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients in the order they appear in the list until a paste develops . It will take 30 to 40 minutes depending on your stamina.
Divide the paste into 4 to 6 heaped tbs portions ( quantity will vary depending on the size of your chilies). Refrigerate for a few days or Freeze for up to 3 months
From top left hand corner, shrimp paste, lime, galangal, red eschallots, coriander seeds, cummin seeds, himalayan rock salt, coriander roots, garlic, chillies , reconstituting dried chillies (soak in boiling water for 15 minutes and drain)