Our visiting friends so loved this vegetable curry they declared it reason alone for a book on Indonesian food. The veggies are stir-fried, keeping them crisp and vibrant, but the sauce is luscious and rich - the perfect counterpoint. As you make the bumbu spice paste your eyes might widen at the quantities, but these are meant to be big flavours and it works.
Start by making the bumbu spice paste. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chillies, galangal, shallots, garlic and candlenuts - the shallots and garlic go in whole. Fry, stirring often, until the garlic has browned and everything smells wonderful.
Transfer to a pestle and mortar, high-speed blender or food processor with the turmeric and shrimp paste. Add
Prepare all the vegetables before you start stir-frying. Set a wok over a high heat and add the oil. The carrots go in first and will need about 2 minutes stirfrying to soften before you add the aubergine. Stir-fry a minute or two more, then add the cabbage and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Scrape the bumbu into the pan and toss to coat all the vegetables. Lower the heat and add the coconut milk, oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir again. You will probably need to add some water to loosen the sauce to a creamy curry consistency - and add more as needed as you cook.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes. Add the green beans and bok choy and simmer for a final 2-3 minutes until all the vegetables are tender-crisp. Taste for seasoning before serving.
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