Burmese Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup hot water
About 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt
3 dried red chiles, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
Scant 1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 3 cups), or 3 cups crushed canned tomatoes, preferably unseasoned
1/4 cup Dried Shrimp Powder
3 or 4 green cayenne chiles, seeded and cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each
About 1 tablespoon fish sauce, to taste
About 2 tablespoons chopped coriander

Place the tamarind pulp in a small bowl, add the hot water, and let soak for 10 minutes.
Mash the tamarind with a fork to separate the seeds and fibers from the pulp. Press the tamarind through a sieve set over a bowl, using the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible from the pulp. Set the tamarind liquid aside; discard the pulp.

If you have a mortar, pound the shallots and garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then pound the chiles to a paste. Alternatively, mince the shallots and garlic to a paste with the salt, then mince the chiles. Set aside.

Place a wide heavy skillet or heavy pot or a wok over medium heat. Add the oil and turmeric and stir, then add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the reserved chiles and shrimp paste and stir briefly to blend. Add the tamarind liquid and tomatoes. Stir well, bring to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and cook at a strong simmer until the tomatoes are softened and a little thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp powder and cayenne chiles and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the chiles are softened. Add the fish sauce, then taste and adjust the seasonings if you wish.
Turn out into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stored in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator, the chutney will keep for 4 days.

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