Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and when it dissolves chuck in the whole shallots. Season, turn down the heat and cook for at least 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so until the shallots are golden and soft.
Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water, then refresh in ice-cold water.
To make the paste, put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the paste until fragrant – be careful not to burn it. Add the coconut cream, a little at a time. Then add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and boil to reduce the sauce by half.
Add the shallots, asparagus and desiccated coconut and warm through. Garnish with the coriander and serve with jasmine rice.
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