Make up a paste in a food processor using as little water as possible - perhaps a tablespoon will do.
For the paste:
5 long dried red chillies soaked and deseeded: 1 tablespoon root ginger - replace with 1 teaspoon of ginger powder if you don't have it : 1 stalk of lemongrass: 3 shallots or one small red onion: 2 cloves of garlic peeled: 1 teaspoon shrimp paste or yellow bean paste for a vegetarian alternative: 2 teaspoons of ground coriander seeds :1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds: 3 teaspoons of Chinese curry powder
You will also need:
500g potatoes cut into large cubes
500 ml can of coconut milk
250 ml water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Coriander and chilli to garnish
First make the paste and set aside.
Open the can of coconut without shaking it. The top half should be creamy and thick. Spoon this into a small pan and bring to the boil for five minutes, stirring occasionally. You will see the oil separating out and rising to the top.
Stir in all of the paste and fry it in this oil for a few minutes.
Add the potato, the rest of the coconut milk and half a can of water.
Simmer and add the fish sauce and sugar. Taste and adjust accordingly.
Simmer until the potatoes are just cooked but still firm and serve immediately with a sprinkling of coriander to decorate.
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 15 mins