I’ve popped this section in to get you used to doing a little pounding and puréeing. Yes, you can simply buy a ready-made paste and cook a curry, or add it to a stir-fry, and that is acceptable. However, if you go to the trouble of making these pastes fresh, you’ll be rewarded with amazing flavour and freshness — something you just can’t get from the bought varieties. Once you get the hang of this, it won’t be long before you’re varying the chilli or spice to tailor your curry pastes to your own taste. Remember that tasting for balance when we start using these pastes to make curries is very important.