1. Tip the rice into a sieve and rinse. Tip it into a small pan and add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down. Very gently simmer for 8 mins, till all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat and steam in the pan, with the lid on, for 5-10 mins. The rice will keep warm in the pan for 15 mins if it’s ready before the rest of the stir-fry.
2. While the rice cooks, trim the green tops off the aubergines. Chop the aubergines into bite-sized chunks. Scrub the carrot (no need to peel) and slice it thinly on the angle. Halve the pepper and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Finely slice the pepper into strips.
3. Warm a dry wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Scatter in the cashews and fry for 3-4 mins, tossing frequently, till the nuts are golden and toasted on all sides. Tip the cashews into a sturdy bowl. Use the end of a rolling pin or a jam jar to crush the cashews slightly. Set aside.
4. Pop the wok back onto a medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Slide the chopped aubergines into the pan. Fry for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the aubergines are tender.
5. While the aubergines are cooking, peel the garlic cloves and crush or finely chop them. Halve the chilli, scraping out the seeds and membrane for less heat, and finely chop the chilli. Trim the roots and top 2cm off the spring onions. Finely slice the spring onions.
6. Slide the garlic, chilli and spring onions into a bowl. Add 2 tbsp each tamari and brown rice vinegar. Pick most of the mint and Thai basil leaves off their sprigs and finely chop them. Add the chopped herbs to the bowl and stir.
7. When the aubergines are tender, stir in the chopped pepper and carrot. Stir fry for 2-3 mins, till a little soft but still with some bite. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in the tamari and herb sauce and stir. Add half the crushed cashews.
8. Pile the rice into bowls and top with the stir-fried vegetables. Sprinkle over the reserved cashews and remaining herbs and serve.