Lemongrass is hard to come by in rural Andalucía so I grow my own and with my first harvest I am making a typical Thai curry paste.

This is best done in a pestle and mortar which allows the ingredients to slowly release their oils and that doesn’t quite happen when a blender is used but sometimes life is too short.

50g fresh red chillies, roughly chopped
50g dried red chilles, rehydrated and roughly chopped
50g garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
50g fresh ginger, grated
50g turmeric
50g shallots or red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 or 5 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, bruised and roughly chopped
Zest from ½ lime
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons shrimp paste (use one mashed anchovy as a substitute)
½ teaspoon sea salt

Combined and blend all of the above by hand or in a food processor. Add to curries, soups and casseroles.