Kroeung Curry Paste
  -   Kroeung
1/2 hr  
This is a very popular curry paste in Cambodia, used as the base flavoring for many soups and stir frys. It is not very hot but it certainly isn't bland either. Be aware that all plastic and wood items that contact fresh turmeric root will be lightly stained yellow, but it will go away with use.


Lemon Grass stalk
Kafir Lime leaves (1)  
Galangal fresh (2)
Turmeric fresh (3)
This paste is made by pounding in a large stone mortar. Mine is 7 inches across (5-1/2 inch bowl) with a 3 pound pestel - much less is inadequate - but I do cheat and use a mini food processor for the initial grinding before I pound it in the mortar. Start with the hardest ingredients and work to the softest. You can add a little water if necessary while processing and pounding but 2 T max.

  1. Peel tough outer leaves from LEMON GRASS and cut off hard root end. Pound to shreads with your kitchen mallet and slice the bottom 4 inches crosswise very thin. Pound to pulp in a mortar or run in the mini processor.
  2. Roll up KAFFIR LEAVES and slice into thin shreds from the outside to the spine, then from the other side. Discard the spine and chop the threads very fine. Pound to a pulp.
  3. Peel GALLANGAL and slice very thin. Pound well with your kitchen mallet and chop very fine. Pound to a pulp.
  4. Peel TURMERIC ROOT, flatten with your kitchen mallet and chop fine. Pound to a pulp.
  5. Peel SHALLOTS, slice and chop small. When you can see again pound to a pulp.
  6. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Add to the mortar and pound to a pulp.
  7. Add Salt and pound all the ingredients thoroughly.You should now have a rather dry but smooth paste. Pack in a 7 oz jar. Stored tightly closed in the refrigerator it will keep for a week or so, or freeze it for longer storage.
  1. Kaffir Lime Leaves:   These come 2 to a stem. See our Kaffir Lime page for details. If you don't have them, grate the zest of the limes before you squeeze them for lime juice.
  2. Galingal: If you can't get it fresh, don't use dry - it has little flavor. Use fresh ginger instead - different taste but closer.
  3. Turmeric Root   This should be fresh yellow root, not the white. It can be found in markets serving Indian or Southeast Asian communities. You can freeze what you don't need right away. If you have to use dry turmeric powder use about 1 teaspoon.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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