I always prefer to make my own pastes and sauces for a fresh and vibrant taste over the commercial pre-prepared versions. I made this classic spicy Thai paste in preparation for a massaman curry with paneer cheese, but it can also be cooked with starchy root vegetables — especially potatoes — or simply warmed and spooned over hot fresh cooked rice. Highly aromatic, massaman curry paste has a distinctive cardamom and cumin taste that must be tried to be believed — CNN recently selected massaman curries as the world's most delicious food!
Galangal (or galanga) is a close relative of ginger and is used in the same way. Galangal has a paler and thinner pinkish skin that is peeled just as with ginger, and while the taste is hot and zesty like ginger, it has a strong and unique citrusy and mustardy flavor and aroma with hints of pine that is quite unlike its cousin. As with kaffir lime leaves, galangal can usually be found in Asian grocers, but ginger can be substituted. If you can find fresh kaffir lime leaves, they freeze quite well for future use. If you can't find kaffir lime leaves, substitute 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime zest and add a bay leaf or two. This sauce with keep in the fridge for severak weeks in a tightly-sealed jar.
Another spicy paste recipe from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you will be sure to enjoy:
|Homemade Massaman Curry Paste|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Thai Vegetarian Cooking
Published on February 11, 2010
A southern Thai specialty, massaman paste is a rich, aromatic and extraordinarily distinctive curry paste redolent especially of cardamom and cumin, and forms the base of highly prized massaman curries
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