When I have time prepare spices for curry I normally do it in big batches so I can portion them out and freeze it up so each time I want to cook it is ready but nowadays we can get readymade paste from the Asian market without any problem. It does make cooking so much easier and I do keep a jar of it in case of emergency or I ran out of homemade paste. I have the recipe here if anyone of you wanted to make it from scratch. You can use it to cook chicken, duck, beef, pork or any type of seafood and even noodles with it. For today I used the paste to cook this prawn dish.
1 pound of large prawns
4 -5 Thai eggplant – cut into quarters (depend on the eggplant size)
4 tbsp curry paste (refer to below)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1. Clean the prawns, cut away the legs and leave the shell intake. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper and just it lightly with cornstarch. Put 4 - 5 tbsp of oil in a wok and pan fried the prawns until 50% cook. Remove and set it aside.
2. Remove oil from wok and leave 2 tbsp of it, add in the chili paste and stir fry until fragrant for about 2 minutes. Add in the water and bring it up to boil. Add in the eggplants. Continue to cook until the eggplants soften.
3. Add in the prawns and coconut milk and seasonings. Bring it up to boil and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
4. Check seasonings. Remove and serve with warm rice.
Ingredients for the paste:
10 shallots – peel and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic - peel
4 stalks lemongrass – peel off the hard outer layers and cut small
20 fresh red chilies – remove seeds
5 Thai bird eye chilies
2” ginger – cut small
2” galangal – cut small
3 kaffir lime leaves – remove the middle part and sliced thinly
4 coriander roots – roughly chopped
1 tbsp shrimp paste/belachan
Put all the above ingredients in the food processor and blend it into paste. If it is too dry you can add a bit of oil to it and continue to blend into smooth paste.
2. Portion it and keep in the freezer.