Beef Rendang is a favourite of lots of people and there are so many versions. Every state in Malaysia has it’s own variation. There is a very dry rendang which you eat with lemang which is a rice cooked in a bamboo tube cooked over a wood fire. You buy these from roadside vendors during the festive seasons or order them if you have a party.
Here is a recipe from my friend Ana who runs the very popular Lazat Cooking School in Kuala Lumpur.
Note: this recipe was written for the cooking class and is for just a single portion so you need to multiply the recipe for larger portions.
- 150 g beef, cut into bite size pieces
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 300 ml water
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
- 1 cm piece galangal, bruised
- 1 turmeric leaf, finely sliced
- 1 kafir lime leaf, tear just before use
- 1 small piece asam keping (dry sliced tamarind available in packs)
- ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon kerisik (grated coconut – see below for recipe)
- 6 dried chillies, cut, deseeded and boil them to soften (or 2 tbsp chilli paste)
- 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced finely
- 6 shallots, peeled and halved
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 5 g ginger, sliced
- 3 g fresh turmeric, sliced
- 1-2 bird’s eye chillies
Note: Asian shallots are smaller than the ones sold in the supermarkets in the UK and are purple in colour. You can buy them easily from Asian supermarkets.
To prepare kerisik (toasted grated coconut) :
Dry fry the grated coconut (1/2 of coconut) in a work, stirring constantly over low heat until brown and crisp. (Dessicated coconut does not work here. You need fresh coconut. )
Grind the coconut in a mortar while it is still hot and crispy until the oil oozes out and the coconut has a fine texture.
I found an alternative to the traditional method of making kerisk here.
1. Grind the spice paste ingredients until fine in a mortar or blender, adding a little oil if necessary to keep the blades turning
2. Heat the oil over low heat in a saucepan, put in bruised lemongrass and galangal and stir-fry for a few seconds till fragrant
3. Then add the spice paste, stir occasionally until oil seeps out. About 8 – 10 mins.
4. Then add in beef, followed by water and cook until beef is tender, or until the gravy thickens.
5. Add in coconut milk, salt, palm sugar, asam keping and sliced turmeric leaves and leave it to simmer until gravy thickens again.
6. Finally add in kafir lime leaves and kerisik (ground grated coconut), stir and mix them well for about 2-3 minutes before turning off the heat