N.B: Z babe (yes, you sweetie), this one’s for you. XX
I’m not usually a huge fan of rendang. In fact, when given a choice of what to have with my roti prata, i find myself more often than not going with the ever favourite chicken curry.
What really prompted me to attempt to make this dish was a darling friend, Z’s proclamation that she has been looking for a rendang recipe upon my purchase of a local Peranakan cookbook (yes, i carved in) and the huge hunk of beef rump sitting in the freezer.
The original recipe calls for a very modest list of spices but i couldn’t resist throwing in a couple more like the cloves, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, belachan, tumeric powder and candlenuts (phew!), essentially easily doubling the list of ingredients. I also used fresh coconut milk, made by combining water with freshly grated coconut and squeezing the moist grated coconut over a strainer, and made up the rest of quantity of the liquid needed with water so as to make this dish a little less rich and sinful.
This was so easy to put together it practically cooked itself; really just a lot of pounding with the mortar and pestle which is my favourite part, a bit of frying, throwing in the rest of the ingredients and letting it do its thing while you do yours- i hopped on the treadmill in anticipation of the sinful meal i was going to have. When you get back, a pot of tender, juicy beef chunks, simmering in a wonderful union of spices and thick aromatic paste awaits you.
All that’s left is to fry the roti prata- i used frozen ones available at the local supermarket which apparently have no cholesterol and sugar. They really puff up and brown quite nicely over high heat (no oil needed!) and tasted pretty much like the fresh ones you get from the prata stores- thin, crispy and piping hot :)
This makes quite a bit of rendang for my currently downsized household. But seeing as how it will taste better the following day after a good night’s rest in the fridge, this is the one time i’m more than happy to have leftovers :D
Totally off topic but some random shots from my last week-
I spent the weekend watching the first ever Formula One night race. It took some convincing for me to agree to show up for it but no regrets at all from my part. I’m still amazed how they turned streets i’ve travelled on a zillion times into a street circuit and how they pulled the entire thing off in nine months.
Moving into my new room! Starting with my cookbooks of course- baking books on the top shelf, books involving cooking on the middle and my stash of food magazines on the bottom- forty three at last count!
Beef Rendang [Loosely adapted from Irene’s Peranakan Recipes]
1 kg beef rump, cut roughly into chunks
1/2 tbsp oil
2 star anise
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stalk of lemongrass, white part only, lightly bruised
1 tbsp tamarind seeds, soaked in a bit of hot water
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp sugar
2 large chilis, sliced lengthwise
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Roti pratas, to serve
6 large red chilis, roughly sliced
6 chili padis, sliced*
8 garlic cloves, peeled
12 shallots, peeled
2 cm belachan, toasted
2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp corriander seeds
1 knob of galangal
- To make rempah Using a pestle and mortar, pound the chilis, garlic cloves, galangal and shallots together. Add the belachan and the candle nuts in, followed by the spices.
- Heat a large frying pan over high heat- when you can no longer hold your hand over the pan for more than a few seconds, you’re good to go. Lower to heat to medium high and pour the oil in, swirling the pan to coat the surface. Add the rempah, cloves, cinnamon, lemon grass and star anise in and fry till fragrant. Add the beef pieces in and fry till the beef is browned all over.
- Gradually pour the coconut milk and water in, as well as the juice from the tamarind mixture, discarding the seeds. Stir well and add the potatoes, red chili, sugar and salt in. Add enough water to cover the beef pieces and potatoes.
- Turning the heat up and allowing the mixture to come to a boil, cover the pan with a lid for let it boil for 30 minutes. Add more water at any time if necessary.
- By now, the mixture should have thicken slightly. Turn the heat down to allow the mixture to simmer. Taste the rendang and adjust seasoning if needed. Allow rendang to cook till beef pieces is tender and can be easily pierced through with a fork. Serve with roti pratas. Serves 4
* use fewer chili padis or omit them totally if you prefer your curries with less heat