The beauty of homemade curry paste is that you can still taste all the individual components--the heat of chiles, the sparkle of lime--a quality that's lost during processing and canning. Homemade really is better.
5medium green chiliessuch as Serrano, stems removed and cut into large pieces
3stalks lemon grasswhite part only, chopped
2shallotspeeled and quartered
1inchpiece fresh gingerpeeled and cut into pieces
1grated rind of 1 lime
1/4cupcilantro leaves or Italian parsley(optional)
2tablespoonswater(more as needed)
Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small, dry skillet for about two minutes over high heat or until they become fragrant. Remove them to a bowl and allow to cool. Then grind them and the black peppercorns in a spice mill or coffee mill until powdered. (You may also grind them in a mortar and pestle).
Place the spices and all remaining ingredients into a food processor and process until it’s a thick paste, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add more water, if necessary to keep the mixture moving, and be careful not to breathe in the fumes as you remove the cover (I know this from experience!)
Place in a tightly covered jar and refrigerate. Use within 2-3 weeks or freeze for later use.