MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
       Title:  prik kaeng Panaeng (paste for a dry chili)
  Categories: Thai, Condiments, Spices
       Yield: 2 cups
       1 c  Prepared red chilis
      10 tb Shallots, chopped
       5 tb Garlic, chopped
      10 tb Lemon grass, finely
       5 tb Galangal, grated
       1 tb Coriander seeds
       1 tb Cumin seeds
       5 tb Coriander root.
       1 tb Kapi
       5 tb Freshly toasted
            Peanuts, crushed
   follow the same general method, toasting the seeds, then blending
   everything together.
   General Instructions for all: 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!
   Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
   Systems Engineering, Vongchavalitkul University, Korat 30000, Thailand