As with many of our pastes, the process starts the night before; this time by soaking the fenugreek seeds and toasting the coconut.
When we arrive back in the kitchen the next morning to commence, we are greeted by our delivery of fresh ingredients from the markets; enormous amounts of ingredients including fresh Australian brown onions, spring onions, tomatoes, coriander, shredded Australian grown Buderim ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
Once the ingredients are ready, a large pot is added to the stove and oil is added. Fenugreek seeds and toasted coconut are then added together, releasing a complex layer of aromas.
Ground dried chilli paste, fresh tomatoes, green chillies and whole fresh coriander are added alongside Latasha’s formulated garam masala for Madras (this contains 20 other pure ground spices painstakingly measured out). The flavours develop quickly and when the smell is pungent enough, coconut cream, lemon juice and vinegar are added.
The pot is turned down and left to cook slowly but is mixed well to ensure no air pockets develop. Latasha tastes the paste regularly and once perfect, it is turned off and bottled.
Making it milder: This can be made milder by adding additional fresh crushed onions, shallots, or spring onions at the start of the cooking process. You can also add tomatoes, fresh coriander and potatoes along with coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut powder or even finely toasted and ground fresh, frozen or desiccated coconut.
Making it hotter: It can be made much hotter by adding fresh ground green chillies or a few whole dry chilies.