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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beef Rendang. My favourite!!!

Since I am no food critic, I cannot say that I have truthfully tried every cuisine that the world has to offer to make me a total expert. I think if I gave up my day job, then being a food critic would be one of the things I would like to do. I love food and not just cooking it but every aspect of it from purchasing it fresh from the markets, to researching it and finding out what goes well together, to inventing new spins on recipes that give them the personal touch. I cook a lot of different cultural cuisine. Being of an Indian upbringing I do delve into a lot of curries and essentially – spicy food. On this blog site I have posted recipes from around the world – France, Greece, Italy, Spain and China, just to name a few. If I had to choose my favourite cuisine to cook, and eat. it would be a tie between Indonesian and Malaysian. So when it comes to my dish of choice it’s a classic that is available in both cultures - Beef Rendang.
Although Rendang has an Indonesian origin it has immense popularity in Malaysia and is a regular item on their restaurant’s menus. A recent poll done by CNN International on the world’s 50 most delicious foods ranks Rendang at the top – so I must be on to a good thing (after all, I did read it on the internet). I think a good blog topic would be to cook the top 50 over time (Stay tuned as I might just do that as a side blog one day – it would take me a while though – and I would have to quit my day job!!!)
This recipe for Beef Rendang is a Malay style wet curry. It has a well rounded spiciness and really gets me to umami heaven with its flavour hit. I have adapted the recipe as broadcasted on SBS’ Food Safari – Malaysia episode.

Ingredients for the Rempah (paste) – Place next 7 ingredients into a Food Processor and blitz to make the rempah
  • 2 x Onions, quartered
  • 6 x Cloves Garlic
  • 6 x Dried Chillies, seeded, chopped and soaked in some warm water
  • 1 inch piece x Ginger galangal, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 inch piece x Galangal, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 2 stalks x Lemongrass, bulb finely chopped
  • 1 tsp x Fresh Turmeric or ½ tsp x Turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp x Oil
  • 1 kg x Beef, boneless chuck works great cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp x Curry Powder (If you can get Malay curry powder from the Asian grocer it works wonders in this dish)
  • 1 can x Coconut Milk (400ml)
  • 1 cup x Desiccated Coconut, dry toasted lightly in a pan 
  • 2 tbsp x Kecap Manis
  • Salt to taste
  • 7-8 x Kaffir Lime Leaves, sliced thinly
Heat a heavy pot and add in the oil followed by the rempah.
Cook for 5 minutes on a gentle heat until browned and fragrant
Add the beef and combine with rempah
Now add the curry powder a stir well to incorporate with meat and rempah
Pour in the coconut milk and bring the pot to a gentle boil
Then fold in the desiccated coconut add a little water if mixture is too thick.

Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 1 hour
Stir in the Kecap Manis and salt to taste
Sprinkle the lime leaves into the pot and cook for a further 2 minutes
Serve immediately with steamed rice or Roti

"I love me some Beef Rendang anytime, and this recipe is my all time favourite. I used to trust in store bought pastes in packets and bottles, but not anymore. This is a real winner. At home we eat this dish as a simple rice and curry dish most of the times. There are those occasions however, when I get all fancy and serve Rendang as part of an awesome Nasi Lemak platter. Now if you dine at Malay and Indo places you know what I'm talking about- Curry, Coconut Rice, Sambal, Fried Ikan Bilis, Peanuts, Cucumber and Egg - doesn't get any better. Recipe to be posted soon - master the Beef Rendang and you are more than half way there."


Indonesia Eats said...

I love rendang too! My version has a drier one and uses turmeric leaves with no kecap manis added:) I'm getting hungry by thinking of it

ngizee said...

Hi Indonesia Eats and thanks for checking out the blog and commenting.

I have also had a look at your Rendang recipe and am keen to try out the dry version that I have enjoyed at Indonesian restaurants here in Melbourne.

Thanks again I

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