Preparation / Directions:
Coarsely chop the chiles and soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain. Dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom pods and cloves over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until they are aromatic and slightly browned.
Sauté the chiles, garlic and shallots in the oil until lightly browned.
Pound in the following order: a) garlic, shallots and chiles b) coriander, cardamom pods, cumin, cloves and peppercorns c) lemon grass, galangal, bergamot, coriander roots.
Place the shrimp paste on a piece of foil and cook it over a flame or burner for 1 to 2 minutes, or in a hot oven (425F) until the outside is slightly burnt. Mix the shrimp paste with all the above ingredients plus the sugar, salt and tamarind juice to form a fine paste.