as opposed to tom jabchai, this *is* a vegetarian dish. Though normally included in Thailand, the curry paste and chili beans in oil can be considered optional for those who are looking for something with a little less heat. You can use any vegtables available, but typically in Thailand it would be made from one of the gourds (buap liam (sponge gourd), phak dumleung (gord gourd), phak nam tao (bottle gourd)) or from phak wan (a forest tree, latin name melientha suavis - the leaves and flowers are used, and are slightly sweet) or banana flowers. If one of the gourds is used it is cut into bite sized chunks first. ==================================================================== Ingredients spice mixture 10 prik Thai (black pepper corns) 1 tablespoon kapi (fermented shrimp paste) 3 tablespoons of nam pla (fish sauce) 10 hom daeng (shallots - purple onions) half a cup of dried shrimp other ingredients 1 tablespoon of red curry paste 2 tablespoons of nam prik pao (chilis paste in oil) 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 5 cups of vegetables 5 stems of bai horapha (sweet Thai basil) 4 cups of vegetable stock Method in a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the spice mixture ingredients to a smooth paste. Bring the stock to a boil and add the spice mixture, curry paste, and prik nam pao, and stire until thoroughly mixed. When it is again boiling, and mixed, stir in the fish sauce. add the vegetables and basil, stir until cooked. The vegetables should be minimally cooked - especially gourd, which will become soft and unpallatable if overcooked. Taste and adjust the saltiness by adding more fish sauce if required.Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.