Pound first six ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor, gradually adding the oil.
Add the lemon peel and shrimp paste.
Dry roast cumin and coriander seeds and grind to a powder in mortar and pestle and add to the paste.
Use immediately or keep for 3-4 weeks in fridge.
Makes about 1/2 cup.
Whip up a simple Thai curry by stir-frying 2 tbsp curry paste in 1 tbsp oil until aromatic.
Add 500 g cubed butternut, 1 can reduced fat coconut milk, 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp palm sugar and the juice of 1/2 lime.
Cook until tender.
Just before serving, toss in a handful of peeled, cooked prawns and some fresh coriander.
Heat curry paste in a pot until aromatic.
Add cooked noodles, baby tomatoes and chicken stock.
Heat through and serve.
Rub paste under the skin of a whole chicken and roast as usual.
Serve with jasmine rice and a bowl of minted yoghurt.
Stir-fry strips of pork or chicken and red peppers in curry paste.
Toss in cooked rice and fresh herbs and heat through.