Prik kaeng phet (phet means hot)

Yield: 2 Cups



Paste) (Note that except for the sugar and the use of red chilis this is the same as the prik kaeng kiao wan) Follow the same procedure: toast and grind the dry seeds and then blend all ingredients to a fine paste If you can't get prik ki nu you can use half a pound of habanero chilis or one pound of jalapena chilis. If you use the latter deseed them before use. Note that if you use a substitute you will get a different volume of paste and that you will need to use different amounts in subsequent recipes. If you can't get kha use ginger if you can't get bai makroot use lime zest if you can't get coriander root use coriander leaves. Thai 'curries' are typically made using a 'curry' paste. However that is an oversimplification: firstly the word used for these dishes in Thai is kaeng (pronounced 'gang') and it covers soups stews and of course curries. A paste which is used could be used just as well for a soup as for a curry. Secondly of course it is not true that Thais call them curry: the word for curry is kari and it is only applied to a small number of dishes: the dishes that appear on western Thai restaurant menues as 'curries' are kaengs and they are made not with curry paste but with a sauce made from prik kaeng (which in this case could be translated better as chili paste). There are many different prik kaeng in Thai cuisine and from them you could make a vast number of different dishes by using different protein ingredients and vegetable ingredients and so on to the extent that it is said that most Thai housewives could cook a different kaeng every day of the year. However if you know the four basic pastes listed here and the basic techniques from my next posting you can make a vast array of dishes if not perhaps quite one per day for a year. A rough rule of thumb is that one cup of raw chilis yields a cup or so of paste (since there is air in the chilis). Further it will keep about 3 months in a preserving jar in the fridge. Since the average kaeng will require (depending on how hot you make it) between 2 and 8 tablespoons of paste and since there are roughly 16 tablespoons in a cup you can scale this recipe up to suit your needs. Suffice it to say that we make these pastes on a cycle over 8 weeks and make 6-8 portions of each of them. As they say in US motor advertisements: your mileage may vary! Regards Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott Systems Engineering Vongchavalitkul University Korat 30000 Thailand

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