|10||whole red chilies (dry, large, roasted, seeded & chopped)|
|1||stalk||lemongrass (finely chopped)|
|1⁄4||kaffir lime rind (finely chopped)|
|6||coriander roots or stems (finely chopped)|
|2||shallots (finely chopped)|
|8||red birdseye chilies (seeded)|
Place cumin, coriander and peppercorns in a small frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Squeeze out the water from chili peppers. Pound the chili peppers and salt. Salt acts like pebbles, breaking up chili pepper into small pieces. Pound the chili peppers into paste.
Add lemongrass and galangal into the mortar. Grind them into rough fibers.
Add garlic, kaffir lime zest and cilantro roots next. Pound the mixture into a paste.
Leave the shallots for second last. Once when shallots are added, the juice in shallots makes it slippery to grind other ingredients effectively. Pound until the mixture turns into a fine paste so that you can’t recognise individual ingredients.
Add shrimp paste. Pound to mix it in the paste.
Paste will keep, covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or frozen for 1 month.