Fresh curry paste will put the wow-factor into your homemade curries. Plus, it's easy to put together and keeps well.
3 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 or 2 dried chillies, depending on personal preference
1 tsp salt
thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tbsp tomato purée
4 tbsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
vegetable or sunflower oil, to cover the paste for storing
Put the seeds and peppercorns into a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for about three minutes, stirring often, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the seeds turn golden and aromatic. Tip into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Add the turmeric, cinnamon, paprika and dried chillies to a pestle and mortar. Add the cooled toasted spices and grind everything together into a fine powder. Add the salt.
Add grated ginger, garlic, tomato purée and white wine vinegar and mix well to make a paste.
Use immediately, or spoon the paste into a jar, cover with a layer of oil, seal with a lid and store in the fridge for up to a week.