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RECIPE: Malaysia’s delicious Beef Rendang


A spicy dish that’s a favourite among Australians

The sight of ketupat hanging in the kitchen, the smell of lemang being grilled and the spicy aroma of rendang are strong features during the Muslim festivals of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha.

 

 

Ketupat is a rice cake, or rice dumpling, cooked in a pouch made from intricately woven coconut leaves. It is usually served with serunding (beef or chicken floss), peanut sauce or rendang.

 

Rendang is a luxuriously spiced dry curry made of beef or chicken. Like most Malay food, the spicier it is, the better. Rendang goes well with other food including rice and glutinous rice as well.

 

It is also eaten with lemang or glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk in hollowed bamboo trunks and barbecued over an open fire.

 

 

 

Ingredients

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

1 1/2 lbs. (0.6 kg) boneless beef short ribs, cut into cubes

5 tablespoons cooking oil

1 stick cinnamon, about 2-inch length

3 cloves

3 star anise

3 cardamom pods

1 lemongrass, cut into 4-inch length and pounded

1 cup thick coconut milk, coconut cream

1 cup water

2 teaspoons tamarind pulp, soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds

6 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced

6 tablespoons kerisik, toasted coconut

1 tablespoon sugar or palm sugar to taste

salt to taste

5 shallots

1 inch galangal

lemongrass (white part only)

5 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger

10-12 dried chilies, soaked in warm

water and seeded

 

SPICE PASTE:

5 shallots

1 inch galangal

lemongrass (white part only)

5 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger

10-12 dried chilies, soaked in warm water and seeded

  

Instructions

Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend it in a food processor until fine.Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry until aromatic. 

Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked. Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar or palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.

Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours oruntil the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up. 

Add more salt and sugar to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.

 

*To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuously until turn golden brown.

 

Happy cooking!

 

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Published: 23 August 2021

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