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Yield
Serves : Makes about 1 cup

This basic recipe makes more than enough potent, nutty chile paste for the Duck in Coconut Curry. It's worth preparing this relatively large amount because the paste keeps for a month and it's delicious in coconut milk-based sauces, soups and stews. More Incredible Duck Recipes

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a bowl, cover the dried chiles with boiling water and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and coarsely chop them.

Step 2    

Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet. Add the chopped garlic and sliced shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and shallots to a plate. Add the peanuts to the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook, shaking the pan, until toasted and browned, about 3 minutes. Add the peanuts to the plate.

Step 3    

In a large mortar or mini-processor, grind the coriander root, lemongrass, galangal and salt to a paste. Work in the halved garlic cloves and chopped shallots. Add the soaked chiles, browned garlic mixture and lime leaves and pound to a coarse puree. Stir in the shrimp paste, cinnamon and cumin.

Make Ahead

The paste can be refrigerated for up to 1 month in a covered jar.

Notes

Coriander root, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and shrimp paste are available at Asian markets, well-stocked supermarkets and specialty food stores.

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