You won’t believe how delicious this curry paste is
Working with a pestle and mortar is very much like mixing with paints. Like an ancient druid sitting by the fireside, crushing rocks, leaves and beetles to bring together the perfect pigment of colour and knowing that his particular shade of Lapis Lazuli is more beautiful and more transcendent than any other artists cloaks of blue.
Cooking is your canvas and the spices, pestos and blends you infuse into one delicious blend are your secret paints. Just a pinch more of some coarse salt, a crushed coriander seed, or a sprig of rosemary – only you know what went into your potion, your textured concoction, a heady blend of ingredients.
And your steady hand, grinding every ingredient, every addition into the sturdy granite base, oversaw it all. It’s yours now. This curry recipe is just the beginning.
Prep time: 15 mins | Makes: about 1 cup
3 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 inch stick of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped (with seeds for extra heat, or without for a milder taste)
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
Drizzle of vegetable oil
1. Heat a small frying pan and toast the coriander, cumin, peppercorns and fennel seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes. Remove and pour into the pestle and mortar, then muddle and crush until finely ground. Enjoy this bit, it’s where all the flavours come into their own.
2. Add the grated ginger, chopped garlic and chillies, then bash it all up to form a rough paste. Stir in the onion and remaining ingredients, muddle and bash to make a finer paste.
Your curry paste is complete. How easy was that? Scoop it into a jar and cover with a drizzle of oil. It should keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
To use in a curry, add the curry paste to the recipe after frying the onions. It’s great with tomato based curries, and coconut milk too.
Freeze the remainder of curry paste left over in an ice tray. It’ll keep for ages and be ready for your next spicy Eastern food adventure.