A mortor and pestle are the most authentic tools for making curry paste, but feel free to use a clean coffee or spice grinder and a food processor they're a lot quiker and easier.
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 shallots)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
1/3 cup peeled, chopped fresh lemongrass (tender parts only, about 3 stems)
2 tablespoons seeded, chopped serrano chili
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 chopped kaffir lime leaves, optional
3 garlic cloves, chopped
How to Make It
Place the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, and toast until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Let cool. Place spices in a spice or coffee grinder with peppercorns, and process until finely ground. Combine the spice mixture, shallots, and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the remaining curry paste in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.