Adapted from From Kebabs to Curries by Madhur Jaffrey.
- Approximately 12 dried red chilies
- 1 cup shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons galangal, finely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
- 1 thin slice kaffir lime peel, about 1 1/2 inches by and 1/2 inches, finely chopped
- 2 cilantro roots, chopped, or 6 cilantro stalks with some leaves attached
- 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoons red paprika
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 plastic bags.