Chef Stanley Wong recommends visiting an Asian or Indian market to find many of these ingredients.
In a food processor, combine lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginger, candlenuts, onion, chiles, shrimp paste, and 1/2 cup water. Process to form a smooth paste.
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add paste mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and aromatic, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and add palm sugar, stirring to dissolve. May be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.