RECIPE: Garlic and ginger paste [v]

Having a big jar of this in the fridge not only allows you to save heaps of time when you want to knock up a quick curry, dal or even stir fry, but making it also means fewer trips to the shops because you’ll buy a job lot of the two main ingredients and preserve them for ages as a ready to use paste.

Makes about 500g, or a big jam jar full.

Garlic (enough peeled cloves to 2/3 fill the jamjar)
Ginger (enough scrubbed, garlic clove-sized pieces to 1/2 fill the jam jar)
Vegetable Oil (a quantity equivalent to about 1/3 the jamjar, or more if needed)
Salt (one heaped teaspoon)
Turmeric (one level teaspoon)
One large clean jar (or failing that any 500g container with a lid)

Firstly a little hack for peeling garlic quickly. Put a couple of bulbs into a cocktail shaker and shake like mad for a minute, all the papery skins will have come off the cloves.

For the ginger, vigorously scrub the whole stem with a scouring pad under the tap. Then cut/break it into pieces to get access to the awkward nooks and crannies, then scrub some more. The blender can struggle with ginger so dont leave any pieces too big and make sure you cut across the fibres.

Pour all the oil into the blender jar, start the blender with the lid on, and start gradually adding the ginger, then the garlic (opening the lid just enough to chuck in a couple of pieces, or using the little porthole in the lid. If it starts getting too thick add a glug more oil. Make use of the blender’s pulse function and periodically give the blender a short rest. After a while it will all be fully pureed without any bits.

Finally stir in your salt and turmeric – both of which act as natural preservatives along with the oil – and jar it up.

A few spoonfuls of this usually get added into curries after the onion frying stage, or into a wok at the beginning of a stir-fry. Adjust any recipe to take into account that the paste already has salt and oil. Once you get into the habit of using your jar of paste, you’ll be gutted when it runs out.