I absolutely love Indian food. When I first started cooking, I tried to make some Indian dishes. With little knowledge of cooking and no knowledge of preparing Indian food, I was over my head. Fast forward 4 plus years, I have a much better handle on cooking and significantly greater understanding of how to put things together. There are a few steps to making a yellow curry sauce. These steps are not hard but experience is very helpful.
The depth of this sauce is created in the layers of flavor that are developed through the steps of making this sauce. This yellow curry sauce begins by roasting the garlic, shallots and ginger. This roasting sweetens these ingredients, especially the garlic. There are so many spices and herbs are added to this sauce. That is why, this sauce is so good. The spices include turmeric, coriander and curry powder. The next interesting ingredient is lemongrass. Is lemongrass an herb or spice or something else? Well I looked it up. Lemongrass is an herb.
The two other herbs in this recipe are cilantro and ginger. I had to look up the ginger too. I am realizing that even though I have learned a lot about cooking, I still have a lot to learn about ingredients. Writing this post and looking at the ingredients, really makes me see that I do not know a lot about the ingredients I cook with from time to time. I know how to use them, I just do not know where they originated from.
The final ingredient for this recipe is Thai chili peppers. I did not have any in the house but, as you might expect, I had a big bag of dried arbol chilies. Arbol chilies are a spicy Mexican chili and a perfect substitute for the Thai chili peppers. I buy a lot of ingredients that are very particular to the region of the dish that I am cooking. I think, though, sometimes you have to let go and have an idea of an alternative ingredient that would be a good substitute for the intended ingredient.
This sauce is created to be the base of a main course. That dish will be saved for a later date and post. I adapted my recipe from Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum.
- 4 large shallots
- 4 large full heads of garlic
- 1 6-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 15 whole dried arbol chili peppers
- 1½ tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons turmeric
- 3 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons lemongrass paste
- ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the outer coating of the shallots and ginger. Slice the ginger in thin slices.
- Drizzle with oil and wrap the shallots in foil.
- Arrange the ginger in a single layer, drizzle with oil, and wrap in foil.
- Peel the outer shell off the garlic. Cut the top quarter inch or so off the heads of garlic to expose the cloves.
- Drizzle with oil, and wrap each head of garlic in foil.
- Bake the shallots, ginger and garlic for 15 minutes.
- Remove the ginger, increase the temperature to 400, and continue roasting the shallots and garlic for another 30 minutes. They will get very soft and have great flavor.
- After the first 15 minutes of the above roasting, soak the chilies in boiling water for a good 15 minutes.
- Remove from the water.
- To make the paste: add all the ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse or puree until the ingredients form a paste.
- You can find dried arbol chilies in most grocery stories, but certainly, ethnic grocery stores.
- You can freeze the extra any sauce you do not use in a recipe.
Re-hydrating the arbol chili peppers.
Adding all the ingredients to the Cuisinart and blending.
The final yellow curry sauce.