Adapted from From Curries to Kebabs by Madhur Jaffrey.
- 7 dried hot red chilies, about 2 to 3 inches in length
- 1 cup chopped shallots or onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (a blend of cumin, coriander, red chilies, mustard, and fenugreek)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 canned anchovies or 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Place the chilies in a small bowl with approximately 1/4 cup of hot water. Microwave the chilies in the water for 2 to 3 minutes, then let sit for 30 minutes.
Place the softened chilies, along with the soaking liquid, in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend, pushing down with a spoon or rubber spatula, until you have a smooth paste. Use immediately, or freeze in portioned chunks.