|These are some of the herbs and spices you need to cook rendang.|
For Chinese, Malay and especially Thai, it really is all about the paste.
In in modern times, convenient pre-mixes have become big business to cater for busy housewives. We have to use the phrase "make it from scratch" to indicate authentic or good food (but not always the case). But traditionally in Asian homes, pastes were made from fresh ingredients.
If you know how to, it is just about the spices, herbs and sauces. No trouble, as my Mama will say.