This seemingly difficult recipe is actually very easy. Once you have all of your ingredients prepared, this beautiful Pana...
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I have to laugh because between the amount of time it took me to track down the ingredients,(floods in Thailand made finding a few ingredients a bit challenging) prep and processing ingredients took about 10 hours (not straight of course but pretty much all day). At the 11th hour, I was cursing because my coconut cream was really milk. Had to spend another 20 minutes or so in order to reduce it to a cream. I said to my husband "this better be worth it!"..... LOL. The answer? Yes it was. Very, very good. We both loved it (: I'll make it again for sure. Next time I'll make sure I have all the ingredients before I start and perhaps prep the day before.
Nice work! Glad you stuck it out and enjoyed the dish. It does take more effort to make your own paste, but it is worth it. We usually make a big batch and freeze it. Measure out one recipe, place it into a small freezer bag and flatten it out. You can also place it all into one bag, flatten it out and cut off chunks as you need them.
When buying coconut milk, make sure to look at the fat content that is displayed on the nutritional information. The higher the fat content, the more coconut cream will be in the can. Cheers!
I do not believe there is a true substitute for curry leaves as they are so unique. Many say that bay leaves, kaffir leaves or basil can be substituted but any of these would provide a different flavor than the curry leaves would.
Here are a few other links you may want to check out. One is called Cook's Thesaurus (or Food Subs). This is a good site to bookmark as it has good info on ingredients and their possible substitutes.
This link is to another resource that talks about curry leaves http://www.buzzle.com/articles/curry-leaves-substitute.html
Best of luck - cheers!
I have made this in larger batches several times using a food processor. The texture is not exactly the same but it certainly gets the job done a lot quicker. I usually invite a friend over and we do a big batch and then we share it. If stores properly in the freezer it will keep for quite a few months. Cheers!
In the recipe, it says to use dried, long red chillies for the paste and fresh chillies for garnish. I can see why you would use fresh chillies for garnish but what is the benefit of using dried chillies in the paste? If you're going to use fresh chillies to garnish. Would it be better to just mash up some fresh chilli into the paste instead of rehydrating the dried ones? I was just wondering if there was a reason for using the dried chillies over fresh?
I was also wondering if anyone knew the optimum time to prepare the paste, for the best result? I've read various other comments about how it can last for few months in the freezer. I was just wondering if it is better to make the paste a few days in advance to allow the flavours to develop or to prep the paste immediately before cooking? Does anyone know which is best?
With many thanks,
The flavor of dried chiles is quite bit different than the flavor of fresh chilies. Chilies undergo a change when they dry, think of fresh tomatoes in comparison to sun-dried tomatoes - the flavor is much more concentrated and intense. Depending on how they are dried, they often have an earthy more smokey flavors after they have been dried. Fresh chilies also contain much more moisture and these are often suited for dishes where other raw ingredients are going to be cooked or used.
The paste can be made just before using or it can be made ahead and frozen. We often do bigger batches and then vacuum pack smaller portions and then freeze them. To know if there really is a flavor difference between fresh, made a few days ahead or frozen, I would suggest that you do an experiment. Try each way then use it to cook the dish and see if you notice any difference. I would guess that the fresh and frozen ones would be the best, as the ingredients after sitting in the refrigerator for a few days may not be as fresh and vibrant tasting. But again, to really know, you would have to experiment. Cheers!
Hi Mona- There are a few types of shrimp paste, some light and smooth, others darker. There's also shrimp pasta that comes packed in a bit of oil, and still another type that is sold in little blocks or pieces (i.e. it's dry paste).
For making curry pastes, I prefer darker Thai shrimp pastes, but any will work. Remember, these pastes are super pungent, so a little goes a long way. Enjoy.