When I first started cooking curries, the frying of the paste 'until fragrant and oil separates from the paste ' was a puzzle. No matter how long I fried it, no oil appeared. So I had to resort to guess work as to when the paste is considered ready. One day I decided to try out the gas bbq wok burner to fry the paste and voila - oil did start coming out of the paste.
This is the sequence of frying the spice paste for my satay sauce.