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Laksa Paste

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cm length fresh turmeric, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2.5 cm knob ginger, grated
100 ml coconut cream
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
5 bird's-eye chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shrimp paste

Lightly toast the coriander and cumin seeds then grind them either
in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Add the spices to the
rest of the ingredients and put in a blender. Blend until smooth.


Seafood Laksa

2 tablespoons vegetable oil shop-bought laksa paste (see jar label for
quantity or use recipe, above
2 400-ml cans coconut cream
500 ml chicken stock
50g palm sugar, grated
bean curd puffs (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
6 kaffir lime leaves, shaved very finely
juice of 2 limes
200g uncooked prawns, peeled
400g white fish fillets, cubed
200g calamari, sliced
400g fresh egg noodles
100g bean sprouts, for garnish
1 cup coriander leaves, for garnish
chilli jam, for garnish (optional)

Soak the bean curd puffs in hot water. Place the bean shoots into
a dish of cold water. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan.
Fry the laksa paste over a medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes, until
fragrant. Add the chicken stock and the coconut cream and bring to
simmering point. Halve the bean curd puffs and add them along with
the palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and fish sauce and
allow to come back to temperature.

Add the uncooked prawns, fish fillets and calamari slices and simmer
for 5 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. Lower the egg noodles
into boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Drain and divide them
evenly between six serving bowls.

(Tip: Soup bowls can be warmed first by filling them with hot water.
After a few seconds pour the water out and bowls will be ready to
use.)

Ladle the laksa over the top of the noodles and garnish with the
bean sprouts, fresh coriander leaves and a dollop of chilli jam.

Ingredients such as laksa paste, palm sugar, fish sauce and chilli
jam are available at many supermarkets, department store foodhalls
and Asian food stores.

Fresh noodles are available from the refrigerated section at
supermarkets.

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