Kersik is one of the ingredients that make Malay and Indonesian curries so different from those of the rest of the world. Kersik is simply grated coconut dry fried until golden.brown and then crushed to a paste. Not only does it thicken the sauce of the curry it also imparts a gorgeous smell of toasted coconut to both the curry and your kitchen. I've reduced the amount of chillies in this recipe to suit a European taste. To get the colour of the sauce back to its deep red brown I've added sweet paprika powder to the rempah (spice paste).
If you use a blender to grind the kersik and rempah instead of using a mortar and pestle, you may need to add small amounts of coconut milk to both to ensure they blend properly and don't just stick to the blades.
Both lemongrass and curry leaves can be kept in the freezer, though if left too long in the freezer the curry leaves will dry out and loose some of their flavour.