The supermarkets are full of different types of curry paste but it’s actually quite easy to make your own. Dry frying the whole spices is an essential step which helps to release their pungent aromas. Use a good heavy-based frying pan and stir frequently to prevent the spices burning. This paste has quite a fiery flavour but for a milder taste omit the red chilli pepper. To use the paste, fry in a little hot oil before adding cubed meat, poultry, fish or vegetables then add stock or water and simmer until cooked. The paste can also be used a spicy marinade for chicken portions, lamb steaks or kebabs.
- 2tsp cumin seeds
- 2tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp black peppercorns
- 5cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 2tsp paprika
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 4tbsp tomato puree
- 3tbsp sunflower oil
Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add the seeds and black peppercorns. Toast in the dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Place in a blender and process to until finely ground.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process to a course paste. Transfer to a clean jar or glass bowl and cover and keep in the fridge for up to one week.
Freeze any unused paste in a freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost thoroughly before using.