BY JUSTIN YU
The recipe was a little loose, but here's the gist of it, I scaled it down a bit:
1# ginger, skin and all, chopped
1# galangal, skin on, chopped
.5# lemongrass, hard tips cut off, chopped
1# shishito peppers, stemmed
3 ea large shallots, halved
1 head garlic, peeled
1 T ground cinnamon
2 t dill seed, ground
2 T paprika
1 T black pepper, fine ground
1 T coriander seed, ground
salt to taste
Grind all the spices and mix together. Set aside.
In a blender, blend all the aromatics together. Make sure the peppers are on the bottom of the blender so it doesn't break the blender trying to grind all the roots. You can use a little water to thin it out so it blends smoothly. Blend for about 1 minute per batch. It should look like a thick smoothie.
Heat up a large pot with a good amount of oil to cover the bottom of the pan, about half an inch up from the pan bottom so that you'll almost be shallow frying, Make sure the oil is past smoking point (I like grapeseed) and very wavy.
Add all the aromatics. The pan should be ripping hot and there should be a high pitched screeching sound when it goes in. Continually stir with a spatula until very aromatic, cooking on high heat. The idea is just to cook out all the water as quickly as possible. You can see this happening when little bubbles start to pop as opposed to big bubbles.
When the mixture gets aromatic, take the mixture off the heat. Add the untoasted spices and return to the heat for about 3-5 minutes. Pull off the heat again and steep aromatics and spices while cooling down the mixture.
This result is almost like a curry paste or base. You can keep this in the cooler and it'll hold for a while. When you cook with it, you can cook it with pretty much anything, Just thin it out with coconut milk and lime juice.
For the carrots to get that texture from the stew we did, you have to caramelize them in a convection oven at 325 for about 20 minutes then turn down the oven to 275 and cook them so they take on an almost hollow texture. You can cut it up them and rehydrate in the curry stew when you add the coconut. It's great with a lot of different things.