Not blitzed to smoothness, rather the green chillies slump down to a silky, army green relish. Despite the scary quantity of chilli seeds it is the flavour, not the heat, from the chillies that shines through. Sometimes teeny salted fish are added too.
Chop the chillies, shallots, garlic and tomato. Simmer in a pan with a large glass of water to soften the vegetables.
Drain and transfer to a mortar. Use a pestle to smash and grind the vegetables, just to encourage their flavours out, not to create a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and scrape in the pounded chillies. Add the lime leaves and season with sugar and salt. Fry for a few minutes until the sauce is collapsed and fragrant. Leave to cool.
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