Keralan curry paste
- January 2012
- Makes 470g
- Takes 45 minutes to make
This aromatic south Indian curry paste can be used in a variety of ways. Use it in Debbie Major’s fabulous Keralan stir-fried cabbage with spiced chicken kebabs.
- 75g of shredded fresh coconut (or 4 heaped tsp of desiccated coconut)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 5cm cinnamon stick
- 12 cloves
- Seeds from 8 cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1tsp ground turmeric
- 1tsp paprika
- 6 dried red Kashmiri chillies (from Waitrose)
- 25g macadamia or cashew nuts
- 10-12 small, roughly chopped shallots (or 300g of onions)
- 50g chopped fresh ginger
- 6 fat garlic cloves
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1tsp salt
- Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the coconut and stir for 5 minutes until richly golden. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool.
- Add the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds to the pan and shake around for a few seconds until they darken and smell aromatic.
- Tip the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds into a spice grinder, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, ground turmeric and paprika and Kashmiri chillies, then grind to a powder.
- Add the macadamia or cashew nuts and grind again. Tip into a food processor. Add half the toasted coconut to the spice grinder and grind it finely. Add to the food processor and repeat with the remainder.
- Add the shallots or onions, ginger, garlic cloves, vegetable oil and 1 tsp salt and process to a smooth paste.
You can use this recipe in the Keralan stir-fried cabbage with spiced chicken kebabs.
Spoon into an ice-cube tray, then freeze. Pop the cubes into a plastic bag and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost at room temperature. (1 ice cube yields 1 tbsp.)
The paste will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks (cover the surface with a thin layer of vegetable oil).
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