Garlic Paste (Lasan)
Garlic is used in all curries
and chutneys and has well-known medicinal properties. There are many varieties.
The white, more flavorful, variety is available at almost any grocery
store. Avoid elephant garlic, because it is less flavorful.
I recommend preparing a large
amount ahead of time and storing in small jars in the freezer, leaving
one jar in the refrigerator for daily use. I suggest starting with one
pound (500 grams) of garlic cloves, which will make enough for a
dozen or so recipes. (In lieu of the following recipe, you may
substitute commercially pureed garlic, available at most supermarkets
and ethnic grocers, but it will lack the lemon tartness of my homemade
1 lb (500 g) medium-size, firm garlic cloves
1 tbsp (15 mL) oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice, fresh or concentrate
1. Separate garlic into single cloves and discard all loose skin.
2. Place cloves in a dish, add oil, and rub into individual cloves to
insure that each is evenly coated. Leave to soak for a day, turning cloves
periodically to distribute oil
evenly. This will loosen the skin and make it easier to peel.
3. With a sharp knife, cut off the flat, root end of each clove and twist
off remaining skin.
4. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until
smooth. You may have to stir the mixture a few times to blend properly.
If it binds and becomes too thick to mix, add a little more oil and lemon.
Note: If the garlic paste
turns greenish, do not discard it. This happens if the garlic has sprouted,
but the paste is fine to use and is just as flavorful.