Masaman Curry Paste (Nam Prik Kaeng Masaman)

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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10 medium dried red chiles
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 pieces cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
6 tablespoons garlic chopped
4 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon oil
10 pieces peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass
1 teaspoon chopped galangal
1 teaspoon chopped bergamot skin
1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
1 teaspoon shrimp paste -- grilled
1 cup palm sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons tamarind juice

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.

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