The green chiles and cilantro in this recipe give this curry paste its name. The krueng in the name means “engine” in Thai, and the gaeng means “curry” these pastes are used literally to make the dishes “go.” Green curry paste is the one used to fire up the hottest of all the Thai curries. Traditionally, the finely chopped rind of the kaffir lime is used to flavor this paste; since it’s not readily available, we don’t call for it here.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- 3 stalks fresh lemongrass
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, including the stems
- 4 jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped; or substitute serranos or 6 green New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
- 10 green Thai chiles, stems removed, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon coarsely grated ginger or galangal
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (available in Asian markets)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably peanut, or more to form a paste
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the coriander, cumin, and peppercorns, and dry-roast until the seeds darken and become fragrant, being careful that they don’t burn. Allow the ingredients to cool completely, place them in a spice mill or coffee grinder, and process to a fine powder.
Trim the stalks of the lemongrass to about 3 inches in length. Trim away any hard portions, discard the outer leaves, and coarsely chop.
Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a blender or food processor and, with the motor running, slowly add just enough of the oil to form a paste.
Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for 4 months.