In conjunction with this month’s Asian Food Fest virtual event, I decided to whip up Beef Rendang with Nasi Hujan Panas. Rendang is a spicy curry-like dish originally from Minangkabau ethnic in Indonesia. It is normally cooked with red meat i.e. Beef or Lamb but white meat like Chicken is possible too. However because the curry is left to stew till thick hence red meat is a preferred choice of protein for this dish. Serving Beef Rendang with Nasi Hujan Panas (or “Rainbow” rice) is a perfect combination. Think of it like Beef or Lamb with Briyani rice. Nasi Hujan Panas is a very popular Malay rice dish as it is slightly spiced with Cardamon pods, Cinnamon stick, Star Anise and Cloves, then colored with green, yellow and red coloring thus giving it its name. This rice dish is delicious to even eat it on its own.
Cooking Rendang is not an easy task but it is like a slow stew/casserole where the longer you let it simmering over low heat on the stove, the better it tastes. The meat is first stir fried with the spice paste till fragrant then coconut milk is added into it to let it simmer over one hour at least. So in my preparation I first stir fried using a non-stick pan, and then transferred the meat into a casserole dish to simmer.
Then at the very end of the simmering process when the sauce has reduced, toasted desiccated coconut is added to thicken up the sauce, thus coating and soaking up the spicy curry to each piece of the meat. Each mouthful is guaranteed juicy, saucy and full of flavour.
The recipe posted here for Beef Rendang is adapted from Billy Law’s Have You Eaten book, and for Nasi Hujan Panas from Dapur-Mamasya Blog.
BEEF RENDANG (Serves 4)
- Spice paste:
- 10g dried red chilies, soaked in hot water till soften (about 30 mins) and seeded
- 130g French shallots, peeled
- 4cm galangal, peeled
- 4cm ginger, peeled
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 700g beef chuck steak, cut into large cubes (approx. 3cm)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 lemongrass stalks, white parts only, bruised
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 can/250ml tinned thick coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 90g desiccated coconut (I used Woolsworth Homebrand)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the coriander, fennel and black peppercorn seeds in a dry frying pan over low heat. Once the fennel seeds start making popping sounds, transfer the toasted spices into a mortar/pestle or spice grinder and grind it into a fine powder. Set aside.
- Using the same frying pan, place the desiccated coconut and stir fry till golden brown over low heat. Be careful not to burn it by constantly stirring it. Set aside.
- To make the spice paste, place all the spice paste ingredients into a blender and blend it till smooth.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the blended spice paste for 10 minutes until fragrant and until the paste turn into darker reddish color.
- Add the beef and dry spice. Saute each side of the meat till brown and nicely coated with the spice paste and dry spices for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Stir to mix well.
- Transfer the beef mixture into a large casserole dish. Add coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of water. Place a lid to cover it and let it simmer over low heat for 30 minutes so that the meat gets tender. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook further till sauce has reduced, for another 30 to 45 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, gradually add more water as required. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the desiccated coconut to the beef, stirring frequently over low heat for 10 minutes or until the coconut releases its oil and absorbed by the meat.
- Serve the Beef Rendang with the rice while it’s hot.
Note: To seed the chilies, you may snip the chilies into half so that after it is soaked, the seed will “escape” into the blanching water.
NASI HUJAN PANAS (Serves 4)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 chicken cube
- 2 fresh/frozen pandan leaves, knotted
- Wet spice:
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 large onion
- Dry spice:
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 3 cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Red, yellow and gree/pandan food coloring
- Wash rice and soak for 10 minutes. Drain.
- Pulse the wet ingredients (ginger, garlic and onion) in a blender or pestle/mortar till finely almost forming paste.
- Heat oil in a saucepan and saute the wet spices till brown and fragrant.
- Add the dry spices in and stir fry till fragrant.
- Add rice and mix well. Then add water, chicken cube and knotted pandan leaves.
- Transfer the rice into a rice cooker and cook the rice.
- When it is done, use a chopstick and dig 3 random holes into the rice, then add a drop of the green/pandan food coloring into one of the holes. Repeat with red and yellow coloring on the other holes.
- Using the chopstick, loosen the rice and mix the color with rice till it is nicely distributed.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Indonesia (Link to AFF Page), hosted by Alice from I Love. I Cook. I Bake (Link to HERE)