- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 lime leaf, thinly sliced (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
- One 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other Asian chili sauce
- Roast the bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until blackened all over. Transfer the pepper to a plate and let cool. Peel off the charred skin and discard the stem and seeds. Coarsely chop the pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the carrot and roasted red pepper and cook over low heat until the carrot softens, about 5 minutes. Transfer the carrot and red pepper to a food processor and add the fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, lime leaf, paprika and ginger and process to a fine paste. Return to the saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sambal oelek and season with salt.
The curry can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.