Rendang is the worlds most delicious food at least according to our study. It is rich and flavourful at the same time with the coconut paste that gives it an aroma like nothing you have ever had. Rendang is a traditional dish from Indonesia and also Malaysia, so if you have rendang in your country then you know how delicious this is. It is a dry and concentrated curry and super flavourful.
To make the paste, add ginger, lemongrass, shallot, garlic and some galanga into a blender jug and add a little liquid of water or coconut milk t it and blend. Once blended, add dry spices to in and mix them in the blender Traditionally, most people sautee the curry paste in some oil, you can also sautee the paste in reduced coconut milk. Add coconut milk in the cooking pot until it starts to boil then add in the curry paste and let the milk reduce with the curry paste.
Once the coconut milk has reduced to a point where the coconut oil is sizzling and starting to fry the paste, add in the beef. You can use whatever you prefer for your beef stew, short ribs and you can also make rendang with chicken as well. Add in about one and a half cup of coconut milk, this dish is very easy, once you have made the paste its just dump and stir from there.
For the seasoning, add some salt and tamarind so it’s going to be a little salty and a little sour and the sweetness is going to come purely fro the reduced coconut milk. Let it cook for two and a half to three hours in a very long slow simmering. In the beginning, you can let it on high heat but as the sauce starts to thicken, let it cook on the lowest heat, scraping the bottom often so the curry paste doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pot.
In the end, you want like a luscious thick sauce coating the beef, you don’t want it to be like a soup. So, in rendang, you want to add some kaffir lime leaves and it will add just a bright citrusy aroma and it will sort of counteract the heaviness of the curry. For the last ingredient, Thai people have toasted rice powder while Indonesian have toasted coconut paste and it’s going to add the most wonderful toasty aroma.
You just take a dry shredded coconut and toasted in a dry pan until its brown, not golden brown, deep dark brown, you want that iconic toasted coconut aroma.
Grind it until oily then add about a tablespoon of it in the dish and stir that in. The beef should be fork-tender, it should pull apart with your fork so make sure you check that for doneness
- 10g dried mild chilies
- 6 cloves garlic
- ½ cup shallots, chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
- 2-inch pc galangal, chopped
- 2-inch pc ginger, chopped
- 8 pc cloves
- 5 pc green cardamom
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pc star anise
- 4 candlenuts
- 1½ lb (700g) stew beef such as chuck or boneless short ribs
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup dried shredded coconut (for making kerisik, see note)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, torn into chunks
- Toast the coconut in a dry saute pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dark brown.
- Grind in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder until it becomes and oily paste.
To make the paste;
- Grind dry chilies and spices in a coffee grinder until fine, then add candlenuts and grind until fine.
- In a blender, add galangal, ginger, lemongrass, shallots and garlic and blend until smooth, adding water as needed. Once fine, add the ground dry spices and blend to mix.
For the curry;
- Bring 1/2 cup of coconut milk to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.
- Add the curry paste and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the paste is thick, and the coconut oil is starting to sizzle away from the paste.
- Add the beef and toss to mix with the paste, add the remaining coconut milk and scrape off any bits of curry paste that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add salt and tamarind, then keep the pot loosely covered, let it simmer on low heat for 2.5-3 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
- In the beginning, stir it every 20 minutes or so, but as the sauce gets thicker.
- You need to stir more frequently to make sure the curry paste doesn’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pot.
- Towards the end I stir it every 5 minutes. You should have a very thick, not runny sauce, and you can add more water if it gets too dry as it cooks.
- If the beef is done, but there is too much liquid, just open the pot and stir for a few more minutes to let it reduce.
- In the last few minutes of cooking stir in 1 Tbsp of risk, and roughly tear kaffir lime leaves into chunks and stir them in, letting them cook for a few more minutes to infuse. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.