I made curry paste, from scratch. Gourmet as hell you guys! It took a few stores to find all of the ingredients for this recipe but between H Mart and Ranch 99, I was able to get it accomplished. This recipe for the curry paste makes more than you need for one batch, which was about six servings, so I threw what was leftover in the freezer for next time.
From what I read, this comforting Thai dish is a staple at street food stalls, house restaurants and is a popular take away dish. It seems that they serve the curry sauce over boiled chicken and steamed rice, opposed to simmering the chicken in the sauce. Since I am not a food stall, I made it Bon Appetit style.
Ingredients for the Kalaya Curry Paste
⅓ cup trimmed and thinly sliced lemongrass (from 2 large stalks)
⅓ cup thinly sliced shallot (from 1 large [1 1/2-ounce] shallot)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (about 1 1/2 ounces)
¼ cup peeled and thinly sliced fresh turmeric root (from 1/3 cup whole turmeric)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 ½ tablespoons black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon peeled and thinly sliced fresh galangal
½ tablespoon ground turmeric
8 garlic cloves
5 makrut lime leaves
3 to 4 fresh red Thai chiles
¾ cup water, divided
Combine the lemongrass, shallot, crushed red pepper, sliced turmeric, paprika, black pepper, white pepper, galangal, ground turmeric, garlic, lime leaves, and Thai chiles in a food processor, and process until vegetables and herbs are very finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water; process until mixture looks creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Scrape down sides of processor bowl, and stir mixture. With processor running, pour remaining 1/4 cup water through food chute, processing until mixture is smooth but slightly gritty and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup Kalaya curry paste in a small bowl.
Store remaining paste in an airtight container in freezer.
Ingredients for Chicken Curry
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut cream, divided
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs), cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred
¼ cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
3 makrut lime leaves, plus more for garnish
2 fresh green long hot peppers sliced (I used jalapeños) (about 1 cup)
Heat a medium-size heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven over medium-low. Add palm sugar, shrimp paste, reserved 1/2 cup Kalaya curry paste, and half of the coconut cream (about 3/4 cup), and cook, stirring often, until curry sauce is fragrant and bubbly and palm sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces and coconut milk. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers at least 165°F, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and salt. Stir in remaining half of coconut cream (about 3/4 cup). Remove pan from heat. Stir in basil and makrut lime leaves.
Garnish curry with jalapenos, basil and lime leaves.