Courtesy of Barbara Fenzl, Owner, Les Gourmettes Cooking School
Shrimp paste: 6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup grated coconut 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 chiles de arbol, stemmed 2 plum tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons water ¼ cup canola oil 5 whole cloves 4 green cardamom pods 2 bay leaves 1 stick cinnamon 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste 1 small piece of ginger (1-inch), peeled and mashed into a paste 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined ½ cup chopped cilantro 2 teaspoons sugar Salt to taste 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
Shrimp paste: Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the spices from the oil and discard. Add the chopped onion to the hot oil and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Add coriander, turmeric, pepper, garlic and ginger; cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved paste and cook another 10 minutes. Sir in coconut milk and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and add the shrimp. Cook until they turn pink and sauce thickens slightly, about 6 minutes. Add the cilantro, sugar, and salt to taste. Serve in bowls and garnish with the slices of serrano chile (optional).