Thai veg stir fry (with home made paste)

We arrived in Hogsback on Saturday evening after 10 hours in a car with 2 dogs and in need of a stiff drink. After a few glasses of said drink, we decided we had better eat something. I had impulse bought a car boot load of veg, but our friends had a bunch of things that needed to be eaten so we decided on a mixed veg thai improvisation. A while back, Dean and I were given a vegetarian thai cook book (a rare thing indeed). One of the best things about the book (reference will be inserted when we get back to Durban), is that it gives really simple recipes to make your own paste. This is what Dean and Vannessa created for 7 people:

Paste ingredients:

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • Palm full of dhanya roots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Dash of olive oils

Put all of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and crush into a paste. You don’t need chillies because the black peppercorns give the food its bite.


  • 8 baby marrows (courgettes)
  • 3 carrots
  • Half a bouquet of broccoli
  • Half a green pepper
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Tin coconut milk or coconut cream
  • Half a bunch of dhanya (coriander / cilantro)
  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice

Chop all the vegetables. They can be any shape, but Vannessa julienned them into a bowl of water to keep them fresh. Except for the mushrooms which were sliced. We are cooking on an Aga here in Mordor in the village of the misplaced hobbit (Hogsback claims that Tolkien’s Hobbit was written / inspired here hence The Ring Bottle Store). For ‘normal’ stoves, keep the heat at a medium temperature so nothing burns.

Fry the paste gently in some oil (we used olive oil, but any will suffice, and sesame will be delicious). Add the mushrooms and fry shortly before adding a dash of coconut milk / cream. Fry until the mushrooms are looking tasty. Then add the rest of the coconut milk / cream and all the veg. Once that has fried up a little, add the basmati rice and cook some more. When the veg has softened (but not to mush – they should still be a little crisp), add the dhanya and serve. Finally, add some soy sauce or any other kind of flavour you like.

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