This is a Burmese hot relish, made of dried prawns or shrimps with plenty of garlic and chillies. It can be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge for a month. It is worth making a good quantity.
Soak the dried shrimps in hot water for 10 minutes, drain and chop with a sharp knife, or put them in a small blender and blend until fine. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan, and fry the shallots and garlic until lightly coloured. Take out with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add the sesame oil to the wok or pan, heat and add the rest of the ingredients, except the hot water, the lime or lemon juice and the salt. Fry, stirring all the time, for 2 minutes. Add the ground shrimps and continue stir-frying for another minute. Now, add the water and lime or lemon juice. Stir again until the liquid is absorbed by the shrimps.
The balachaung is now ready. For the right texture, the mixture should remain moist, not be dry; if it seems too dry, add
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