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Thai Red Curry paste


1 shallot OR 1/4 cup purple onion, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, minced 
1-2 red chilies, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, OR 2-3 tsp. Thai chili sauce
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
2 Tbsp. tomato ketchup
1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
3 Tbsp. fish sauce, OR for vegetarian: 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, plus salt to taste
1 tsp. shrimp paste, OR for vegetarians: 1 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce.
1 tsp. sugar
1+1/2 to 2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 can thick coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
Optional: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (OR add 1 cinnamon stick to your curry pot)

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process well to create a fragrant Thai red curry paste.

2. To use immediately, fry the paste in a little oil to release the fragrance before adding your choice of meat, tofu, wheat gluten, or vegetables.
3. Add remaining can of coconut milk to create the curry sauce. If more sauce is desired, add some good-tasting chicken/vegetable stock.

4. Include leftover pieces of lemongrass (upper part of the stalk) to the curry as you cook it - this will add more flavor. You can also add a cinnamon stick and 2-3 whole kaffir lime leaves if desired . For even more flavor, add 1/2 tsp. more shrimp paste or a little more Golden Mountain Sauce if vegetarian.

5. Before serving, always do a taste test. If not salty or flavorful enough, add more fish sauce or salt. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.

6. When serving your curry, sprinkle over a handful of fresh coriander/cilantro and/or basil.

To Store Paste: Place in an airtight jar or other container in the refrigerator for up to 1.5 weeks; freeze thereafter.

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