Cooking time: 30mins
50g dried chili
225g peeled shallots
10 gloves garlic
40g assam, dissolved in some water
75g gula Melaka
1-1.5 tsp salt
1 star anise
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 stick of lemongrass (peeled to core, cut into 2-3 pieces, smashed slightly)
Oil for blending
Oil for frying
First, soak dried chili in hot water for 30 mins, then de-seed the chili.
Use a processor to pound chili, shallots, garlic and belacan together. Add oil to help to blend into a smooth paste.
Add oil (the same volume as your paste) to nonstick pot, fry the paste over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 10mins till the paste turns from orange to dark red.
Add Assam juice, gula melaka, salt and all spices in, and continue to stir regularly for the next 20mins until the red oil separates from the dark red paste.
Remove from heat. When cooled, can keep in fridge if not use immediately.