To make the Laksa paste:
1. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pound away until you have a nice smooth paste. If you really have to, you can blend it in a food processor.
For the Laksa:
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the spice paste and fry very gently over a low heat, stirring all the time, so that you don’t burn it.
2. Add a little stock to stop it sticking, and keep stirring for about 5 minutes to release all that wonderful flavour.
3. Add the rest of the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, nice and gently.
4. Add the coconut milk and bring it all to a boil.
5. Turn the heat down and stir in the fish sauce, letting the pot simmer for 5 minutes or so.
6. Give it a taste and add a little salt if it needs it.
7. Add the prawns and let this cook gently for 10 minutes or until the prawns have turned orange.
8. Stir in the coriander and lime juice.
9. Get 4 deep bowls ready, divide up the noodles and prawns into the bowls and ladle in the delicious broth. Top with bean sprouts and a fresh sprig of coriander.