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Lemang and Rendang Recipe ~ Malaysia

Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Malay term for the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr, Muslim celebration) is coming very soon. Here I would like to share traditional Malay (Malaysian) food for this special festive occasion.

Lemang is a traditional Malay food cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick. This dish is usually eaten with rendang.

Rendang is a popular dish in Malaysia which is traditionally prepared. Though rendang is sometimes described as being like a curry, and the name is sometimes applied to curried meat dishes in Malaysia, authentic rendang is nothing like a curry. It is made from beef (or occasionally chicken, mutton, water buffalo meat, duck or vegetables like jackfruit or cassava) slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices for several hours until almost all the liquid is gone, leaving the meat coated in the spicy condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying as the liquid evaporates. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the spices and to become tender.

Lemang Recipe

1 kg glutinous rice
2 liters coconut milk ( Add in salt to taste)
Banana leaves

Soak glutinous rice in water for 6 hours.
Drain the glutinous rice.
Meanwhile clean the bamboos and insert the banana leaves in the bamboo as an internal wrapping.
Put the glutinous rice in the bamboo.
Pour in coconut milk until 1.5 inch higher than rice level.
Make stand for the bamboo and set alight firewood.
Cook the bamboos in the fire one side at a time.
You have to turn the bamboo regularly until cook to avoid the bamboo burnt.
Once cooked, let it cool to room temperature.
Split the bamboo; take out the rice with banana leaves.
Cut the rice 1~2 inch thick and serve with rendang.

Beef Rendang Recipe

1 cup oil
5 cm long cinnamon stick (kayu manis)
4 cloves (bunga cengkih)
6 star anise (jintan manis)
4 cardamom (pelaga)
1kg stewing beefcut into 1.5 to 2 inch cubes
2 cups thick coconut milk
4 teaspoons of assam water from tamarind pulp (assam glugor)
4 kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut), julienned
2 turmeric leaf (daun kunyit), julienned
4 tablespoons of fried grated coconut (kerisik) *
3 teaspoons sugar or to taste
Salt to taste.
4 shallots (daun bawang)
4 cm lengkuas
5 stalks of lemon grass (daun serai)
5 cloves garlic (bawang putih)
5 cm (3/4 inch) ginger (halia)
10 dried chillies (cili boh) soaked in hot water to soften

Peel and coarsely chop lengkuas/galingale
Crush the lemon grass
Lightly mash up red chilies, cinnamon and cloves with a little
Peel and coarsely chop shallots, ginger and garlic. Put the above into an electric blender and blend into a smooth paste.
Fry the paste with a little cooking oil in a non-stick pan until fragrant then throw in the cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, adding water IF necessary. Pay close attention and make sure the paste is not overcooked.
Add the beef cubes, coconut milk and tamarind water. When mixture boils, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent curdling.
When the meat is almost cooked, add in kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves and fried grated coconut.
Add sugar and salt to taste.
Reduce fire and gently cook until the meat is really tender and the gravy has disappeared.

* To prepare fried grated coconut

Fry 300g fresh grated coconut in a dry wok or wide shallow saucepan until brown on slow fire to avoid scorching. Ground the fried coconut until oily. Leftover fried grated coconut can be kept in an airtight container.

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