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This Indonesian vegetable curry is adapted from one of my old cookery books, South East Asian Food, written by the Australian academic Rosemary Brissenden who fell in love with Indonesia and its cuisine as a student in the 1960’s.

I made this as a vegan curry which was delicious, the original recipe was with prawns and prawn paste so I will give amounts of those for making the non vegan version.

For 2

about 250 grams in total of various vegetables. You can choose between red and green peppers, green beans, aubergine, bean sprouts and the following that I used on this occasion –


leeks – cut into thin strips

courgette – Cut into bite sized chunks

mange toute peas

small green peppers

mizuna and Pak Choi

1 red fresh chilli – chopped

2 cm square, more or less, fresh ginger or better still galangal – chopped

2 garlic cloves – cut in half

1 small sweet onion – roughly chopped

5 macadamia nuts / 10 hazelnuts

1 teaspoon / 5 ml ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste – if making a vegan curry omit this

1 tablespoon / 15 ml coconut oil

400 coconut milk

First make a curry paste. In a small food processor whizz together the chilli, ginger, garlic, onion, nuts, shrimp paste and coriander together with the coconut oil.

Gently fry the curry paste in a large wok for 5 – 10 minutes until it is cooked.

Add the coconut milk and heat to a simmer.

Add the vegetables that need the longest cooking first, then after a few minutes the more tender vegetables and the prawns if using. Simmer until the vegetables are just done with some bite remaining and the prawns cooked through.

Serve with jasmine rice or sesame sprinkled rice noodles.