It’s red, but it isn’t red hot. And that’s why it’s the sort of curry the average American is going to love.
I’m talking about red curry paste, one of a literal rainbow of intensely flavorful Southeast Asian seasonings.
To be clear, curry pastes are not the same as the curry powders most people know, though they do share some ingredients.
Curry pastes — which are used in Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Indian cooking — combine dry spices with ground fresh herbs and roots, garlic, chilies and other ingredients to form thick pastes.
These pastes often are classified by color. Green curry paste, for example, is a fiery Thai blend that combines green chilies, lemon grass, garlic, shrimp paste and kaffir lime leaves. It’s usually blended with coconut milk to season beef, pork and chicken.