You can also play around with the flavours, until you get the flavour or spiciness to you liking. But remember, hot, salty, sweet and sour and you can't go far wrong.
1/4 cup of small dried shrimp, lightly fried for a few minutes, or until crispy.
About 1 1/2 bulbs of peeled and sliced garlic,
5-8 dried red chillies lightly fried for a few minutes until well toasted.
1 1/2 tbs jaggery or palm sugar
4-5 shallots or enough to be roughly 1/2 cup
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tsp tamarind paste soaked in 1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sunflower oil
1 tsp salt
1. Measure out and prep all of the ingredients so the you can be efficient. Heat the oil on a low heat.
2. Fry the shimo until crispy and set aside.
3. To the same oil, add the dried red chillies. It should be a matter of seconds before they darken. Drain and set aside.
4. Then add the sliced garlic and fry until golden. Set aside.
5. Fry the shallots and fry for about five minutes or until they have no water in and are brownish golden. Set aside.
6. Now the traditional way to processed, would be to grind everything in a pestle and mortar. But to save time, I like to grind everything up in an electic blender or coffee grinder and the empty the paste into a pestle and mortar and add the salt, Palm sugar and the shrimp paste. Pound everything well until it is a paste.
7. Return the paste back to the oil and mix the tamarind paste in. Let everything bubble on a slow and low heat. Keep stiring and checking the consistency. It should have a beautiful flow of the spoon like lava. If it doesn't. Then just add more water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until done.
Transfer into suitable container. This paste should be good for a month and you can also freeze this paste.
Fantastic with fried rice. Nam prig pow fried rice recipe here
Enjoy and let me know what you think.