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Massaman curry paste made from scratch.
Start by prepping all your ingredients: Grill or roast the garlic and shallots with the skin on. Roast them until the skin is charred and the flesh is soft and cooked. It should take about 5-10 minutes depending on your roasting method (e.g. on the grill, using the oven, or in a dry hot skillet on the stovetop). When garlic and shallots are cooled, peel the skin.
Tear the chili stems off and remove the seeds. A massaman curry is more fragrant than spicy/hot. Cut or tear the chili into big pieces. Slice the galangal into thin pieces and julienne them. Slice lemongrass thinly. You only need about half of the stalk, about 6-7 inches. Use the part of the stalk closer to the root.
In a pan, over medium heat, toast the chilies and lemongrass until slightly brown. It should take about 2-3 minutes. Remove the roasted chili peppers and lemongrass. Add the rest of the spices, except for the garlic and shallots, and toast them by moving them around the pan. Roast them until they are fragrant, for about 2 minutes. Remove the spices from heat.
Now comes the workout for your biceps: pounding the spices together. Start with the chili peppers and salt. When your chili peppers are roughly ground, add the lemongrass. Pound until the lemongrass is roughly ground. Add all the other spices, except for roast garlic and shallots. Pound until well blended. Add the roasted garlic and shallots. Pound again until everything is mixed in and smooth. Add shrimp paste and pound to mix everything together.
Note: I started by putting all the ingredients (including the shallots and garlic) in a food processor to get them started and then I used the my mortar and pestle.
Ghee is one of the best fats for your mind and body. And this ghee with aromatic spices is wonderful for cooking in rice dishes, drizzled over oats or a warm fruit compote, in a brown-butter cake or even in an upside down cake. And it’s a snap to make!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!