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Friday Foods: My Mother’s Rendang

It’s been a really long while since I posted a recipe for this column. Things have gotten a bit hectic but fear not, here’s a recipe for you.

Beef Rendang
Photo by arnold | inuyaki

One of the dishes that one must have for Eid is rendang. There are many variations of the dish, using many different types of meat. I have an aunt who makes turkey rendang. Anyway, this dish is rather easy to make, that is if you don’t take into consideration the amount of ingredients you need.

Ingredients
1kg of beef, sliced
5 tbs coriander
1/2 tbs fennel
1/2 tbs cumin
20 dried chillies, cut open and soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes
4 fresh chillies
3 lemongrass
6 cloves of garlic
3 shallots
1 large onion
2 inches turmeric
2 inches ginger
2 candlenuts
15 cloves
10 cardamom seeds
2 inches cinnamon
2 star anise
400ml coconut milk
100g kerisik
4-5 slices of tamarind, soaked in water
1/2 cup oil
1 turmeric leaf


Boil the beef with a stalk of lemon grass, a clove of garlic, sliced, and half an inch of ginger, sliced.

In the mean time, ground the fennel, cumin and coriander, and set it aside.

Drain the soaked chillies and put it in the blender with the fresh chillies, garlic, shallots, onion, turmeric, ginger, candlenuts and the bottom 2 inches of the remaining two lemon grass. Fill half the blender with water and blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth paste.

In a wok, heat up the oil and fry the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise for a little while before adding in the blended ingredients. Mix in the ground spices and fry until the paste is dry, lumpy and fragrant. Add in about 1 tablespoon of salt and about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet or salty you want it.

Add the fried ingredients into the pot of beef that is boiling and stir in the coconut milk, the drained tamarind and the kerisik. Slice the turmeric leaf into the pot. Pound the remaining stalks of lemon grass and add it into the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is tender and the gravy has thickened.

Serve hot with white rice.

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