We start the preparation for this delicious paste the night before by soaking tamarind, so that we can squeeze out the flavour in the morning.
When we arrive in the kitchen the next morning we’re greeted by our delivery of fresh ingredients from the markets including fresh Australian brown onions, tomatoes, coriander, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chillies.
We get work right away, chopping onions and blending them in batches until they are ready for the cooking pot.
As we prepare, Latasha dry toasts some crumbled shrimp paste in a pan and adds it to the cooking pot with the onions.
While onions are cooking, the team weighs whole spices and then dry toasts them one-at-time. The spices are separately cooled before being blended to a fine ground mix in Latasha’s trusty spice mill.
Meanwhile, Australian grown green chillies, fresh ginger and garlic are being blended one at a time.
The kitchen team are working at a furious pace to get a variety of fresh herbs crushed, minced and blended using different machines. These include lemongrass, galangal, kaffir limes, turmeric, krachai and coriander.
Once the onions are ready, the rest of the ingredients are added one-by-one followed by the tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce, coconut milk and fresh coriander.The mixture is tasted and stirred, then tasted again until the perfect balance of flavour is achieved.
Make it cooler: This can be cooled with coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut powder or carnation coconut milk.
Make it hotter: Green or red chillies can be added