pepper, garlic and coriander paste

For anyone who enjoys the flavour of Thai food, this basic flavouring is useful to have in the refrigerator or in portions in the freezer instead of having to make it each time it is needed.

Makes about 1 cup

about 200g fresh coriander leaves, stems and roots

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1-2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Wash the coriander well, paying particular attention to the roots which are usually sandy. Chop coarsely and measure about 2 cups, including roots. Crush the garlic to a smooth paste with the salt. Roast the peppercorns in a dry pan, stirring constantly for a minute or until they smell fragrant. Crush coarsely with a mortar and pestle, add the coriander and pound to a paste. Mix in the garlic and lemon juice. Store the paste in a sterilised, screw-top jar in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks, using a clean dry spoon each time you take some. Or freeze in small containers or ice cube trays. This paste makes an excellent marinade for barbecued chicken or a stir fry paste for vegetables.