Cut and discard the root tip of the garlic cloves and shallots but leave the skin on.
Place both in the oven and roast at 400 degrees until softened, about 10 minutes for garlic, and 20 minutes for shallots.
Meanwhile, mince the lemongrass, galangal and cilantro stems.
In a small dry pan, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are aromatic and dark brown, .
Next toast the red chilies, stirring constantly until they turn a dark red color and are slightly charred.
Grind the toasted ingredients in a clean coffee grinder to a fine powder.
Using a heavy mortar and pestle, pound the lemongrass, galangal and cilantro stems until they are reduced to a paste.
Peel the roasted garlic and shallots and mash in with the mixture until well blended.
Then add the ground toasted ingredients, plus the nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and shrimp paste.
Pound to make a well-blended paste.
Grind the peanuts in a clean coffee grinder or blender as finely as possible.
Heat 2/3 cup of the thickest cream from the top of a can of coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
Reduce a few minutes until thick and bubbly.
Fry the spice mixture in the cream, stirring frequently, until it is well mixed with the cream and has fully released its aromas and flavors, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add half of the remaining milk and the ground peanuts, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, stirring well to blend the ingredients.
Add more coconut milk as needed to constitute a creamy sauce, the consistency of pancake batter.
Season to taste with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind water to the desired combination of salty and sweet, with a subtle tangy flavor in the background.