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Thai Red Pork Curry
This is a perfect example of the Thai way with curries:the finished dish is remarkably fragrant

for the red curry paste
1 tablespoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 teaspoon white or black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 cup shallots
10 to 20 dried hot red chilies
2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (tender parts only)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh galangal
1 1/2 teaspoons kaffir lime peel
1 tablespoon ground red chili powder
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
coarse salt to taste
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into thin, broad slices
3 cups medium thick coconut milk (see page 69)
2 tablespoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
12 green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves, cut into chiffonade (very thin strips)
steamed jasmine rice as an accompaniment, if desired

1. Make the red curry paste: Pound the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, and caraway seeds to a powder in a large mortar with a pestle. Gradually add the shallots, chilies, lemongrass, garlic, and galangal, and pound to a paste. Add the kaffir lime peel, and pound until smooth. (Alternatively, this may be done in a food processor with a bit of water.) Transfer the curry paste to a bowl, and add the ground red chili powder, shrimp paste, and coarse salt, stirring until smooth. The curry paste may be stored, refrigerated, in an air-tight container for a few weeks. (Makes about 1/2 cup.)
2. In a heavy Dutch oven over moderate heat add 1/4 cup red curry paste and the pork and cook for 2 minutes, until pork is evenly coated.
3. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil, and cook at a medium boil for 10 minutes. Bring to a simmer, add the nam pla and palm sugar, and simmer, adding the green beans for the last 10 minutes of cooking, for 30 minutes.
4. Stir in half the basil, half the mint, and all the lime leaves. Transfer the curry to a serving bowl. Top with remaining basil and mint and serve with the rice.

This is a perfect example of the Thai way with curries: the First step is making a wet paste in a mortar and pestle, or you could put modern technology to work and use a food processor instead. The finished dish is remarkably fragrant. Serve with steamed jasmine rice. Serves 4