I'm test cooking for the book, "How to Eat a Green Mango," a book about my stay in Northern Thailand replete with my favorite recipes for the best dishes I've eaten in Thailand.
Imagine my surprise when the paste turned to paste! The instructions said to mash it until it was smooth. I was pretty incredulous that it could turn paste-like, but after some patient pounding, voila!
This does make me think about Thai foods relation to India. They're all about their pastes too. Relatively little elaborate pan/cooking maneuvers, but lots of curry/chili paste preparation. Probably because it's so hot in those countries one prefers to spend a little time over the stove possible!