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Kaeng Liang - vegetable soup

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.

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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.