One Christmas I got Rick Stein’s Far eastern Odyssey cookbook and dvd. When I saw the rendang I thought it looked amazing. I like this Malaysian version as the curry is much wetter and I love sauce. The beef just melts in your mouth and the heat and spice in the curry is just right. I toned down the amount of chilli in our ours as I know Rick likes his hot hot and I like mine with warmth but not burnt mouth hot. Once you try this it will be a firm favourite.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 100g grated fresh coconut (can use desiccated)
- 4 dried Kashmiri chillies
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 225g shallots or onions, roughly chopped
- 30g garlic, roughly chopped
- 50g peeled galangal or ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 large fresh red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
For the Curry
- Glug of oil. I used rapeseed
- 1kg of braising steak chunks
- 1 quantity of rendang spice paste – as above
- 2 tins of coconut milk
- 4 fat lemon grass stalks – bruised – (just bash them lightly)
- 12 dried kaffir lime leaves – crumbled
- 2 x 7.5cm cinnamon sticks
- 125ml Tamarind water – all you do is soak the 60g of pulp in 125ml of hot water and leave for 5 minutes. Break up the pulp with your fingers and then strain the syrupy mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the fibrous material and seeds.
- 1 tbsp of palm sugar or you can use brown sugar, palm sugar will taste better in this dish.
For the paste
- Heat a dry, heavy based, frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coconut and stir for a few minutes until it is richly golden – don’t let it burn.
- Tip into a food processor and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, put the dried Kashmiri chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Add this to the processor with the cooled coconut add the rest of the spice paste ingredients and 100ml of water. Blend to a smooth-ish paste.
For the curry
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan. Add the beef in batches and fry briefly until it has changed colour but not browned, set aside in a bowl. Add the spice paste to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Return the beef and add the coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves and cinnamon sticks and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, add the tamarind water and leave to simmer, uncovered for 2 and a half hours, stirring occasionally, and more frequently towards the end of cooking, until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Remove the lemongrass from the rendang and stir in the palm sugar and season to taste.
- Serve straight away with some wild rice, cooked to packet instructions. Enjoy.