Peel and roughly chop the garlic, shallots and ginger (or galangal if using it)Pull the hard center stalk from the lime leaves and roughly chop. Top and tail the lemongrass, remove the outer layer and then use the back of the knife to bruise it, then finely chop. Roughly chop the chilli's( remove the seeds if you like it milder). Wash the coriander well, especially the root. Chop the top leaves of the coriander roughly and seperate from the stalk and roots. Roughly chop the stalks and roots.
Heat a small pan and toast the seeds till they start to pop, remove the seeds and add the shrimp paste and cook on either side for a few seconds. Add all of these and the coriander root to a mortar and grind with the pestle add the rest of the ingredients a little at a time starting with the hardest ginger and finishing with the softest coriander leaf, use a little oil if needed. The end result should be as fine as you can make it, alternatively you could use a blender but the results aren't quite the same. There is no fish sauce used in this recipe, use it for seasoning when cooking.
«Make more then you need of this recipe, it keeps well in a jar in the fridge with a little oil covering it.»