Kai on the Fly – August 2010

with Aunty Rata

Kia Ora trampers.  Doesn’t that snow on the Tararuas look great not to mention the snow on the Ruahines? Not much snow at Whakapapa yet but good dumps on the southern and eastern slopes of the big R and some of the ice climbing routes are looking like they may actually get into climbing condition this season. Hope you are making the most of it, I know Aunty Rata is, that is why this column is going to be brief. Sometimes there are better things to do than fuss around with food.

Curry. Yep that hardy fall back is as suitable for a meal in the hills as it is for a quick stomach lining bite in town. Everyone has their own version so I’ll give you mine and you can compare and contrast. As always just take what you like and experiment. I offer only one note of caution – it makes sense for the cook to check out the heat tolerance of the punters. While a curry can always be spiced up after those with more sensitive palates have been served, it is pretty difficult to reverse the manoeuvre. Aunty Rata has discovered less is more when using cayenne pepper and generally cooks are most appreciated when the meal is capable of being eaten by all parties.  So practice a bit of inclusiveness around the spices and nobody will be forced to raid their pack for left over scroggin .

Green Thai Curry with Tuna (serves 4-6)


  • 120g basmati rice per person
  • 1 tb coconut cream powder per person*
  • 1 tsp Thai green curry paste per person#
  • 1 tsp coriander for every 2 punters
  • Couple pinches of salt
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic for every 2 punters
  • 2x185g tins of smoked tuna in oil
  • 1 pkt dried vege
  • onion
  • capsicums (or something else in season)
  • 2 carrots or courgettes

*or milk powder but coconut cream powder is better
#depends on which Thai green curry paste you use, take more and taste test


  • Add a cup of cold water to a billy. Add coconut cream powder, curry paste, salt and dried veges to soak. Set aside.
  • In the other billy add garlic, onion, coriander and oil from the tuna tins. Fry. Gradually add chopped fresh veges plus a little water. When veges are almost cooked set aside.
  • Add to first billy sufficient water for the rice and bring to boil. Add rice and cook. Set aside when nearly cooked. Rice will continue to cook.
  • Reheat fresh vege mix and add tuna.
  • Combine the contents of both billies if there is room otherwise serve separately into punters bowls.

Those who prefer a spicier dish can add more Thai curry paste or chilli powder to their completed meal. If you have vegetarians chopped tofu or cashew pieces will provide sufficient protein when the coconut cream is taken into account. If you like a sweet curry add some dried fruit such as raisins or chopped apricots. If you really like a fishy flavour consider bringing a bit of fish sauce along to add but it is very salty so ditch the salt if you go down this route.

Send your tramping recipes to .

Rumour has it there is a Club recipe book coming out at some stage.

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