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Indonesian cooking made easy

Yesterday, desdemonaspace and I exchanged the recipe for her favourite Asian dish, rendang padang. In relation to which, I must mention one more helpful hint: apparently, the English translation for kemiri-nuts is 'candlenuts' -- a nut that's indigenous to Borneo and Indonesia, and is likely to be found in Asian supermarkets that specialise in SE Asian products. So, Ezagaaikwe: if your local Vietnamese doesn't stock it, use (ground and roasted) almonds as a replacement.

There is another rendang that I like even better: rendang daging. When cooked properly, the meat just melts on your tongue!

To make enough to serve 4, you need:

- 1 lb topside beef, cubed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup santen (thick coconut milk)
- 1 slice asam gelugur (tamarind paste)
- 2 daun djeruk (lime leaves, finely chopped)
- 1 turmeric leaf, finely chopped
- 2 tbs kerisik, i.e. roasted and ground shredded coconut
- 2 tbs kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- salt to taste.

To make the bumbu:

- 2 shallots
- 2 cm (3/4 inch) galangal (aka China or India root; in the UK, Marks & Spencer usually stock it)
- 3 stalks lemon grass
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cm (3/4 inch) ginger
- 6-10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water

1) Chop the bumbu ingredients then puree in a blender until fine.
2) Heat the oil in a wadjan or a wok on a medium setting until hot, then turn down to low and add the bumbu, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom and cook for 5 minutes. If it starts to burn, add a tablespoon of water.
3) Add the beef, coconut milk, kecap manis and asam gelugur or tamarind juice.
4) Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until the meat is almost cooked.
5) Add the lime and turmeric leaves,kerisik, and salt.
6) Lower the heat and simmer until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.

Approx. cooking time: 1 hour, maybe a bit longer. Enjoy!


( 11 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2004 05:57 am (UTC)
LOL! You must bear in mind though, that's it's mildly pedis: spicy!
Jan. 20th, 2004 07:11 am (UTC)
I used to cook Indonesian all the time, until my kids happened...I struggled on with a mild version of string beans (sambal goreng? can this be the right name? My memory is going...), but my assam has dried out and my salam is practically vaporized. A visit to the toki is in order, because I'd really like to try your recipe! Would it matter if I used fresh green chillies instead of lomboks? To make it less pedis for the kids?
Jan. 20th, 2004 07:46 am (UTC)
I struggled on with a mild version of string beans(sambal goreng? can this be the right name? My memory is going...)

It's not going all that much because the name you're struggling with? You almost had it: sambal goreng buncis, or 's.g. boontjes'.

But if the spicy foods are off the menu for the moment, but you still like to eat Indonesian every once in a while, why not concentrate on Sundanese cuisine? The rendangs I've been discussing for the past 2 days are Sumatran in origin, but my family hail from the Preanger and Western Java...so we mostly cook Sundanese, anyway. I'll rustle up some recipes for you to try, and bring 'em on my next visit, OK?

As to this particular dish, you could replaces the rawit with lomboks to make it less pedis, but you could also try leaving them out altogether, and see what you end up with...the other ingredients make it yummy enough in itself, I think!
Jan. 20th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)
Sorry, that last paragraph was a bit unclear: yes, by all means, substitute the green chillies for the red ones (whether it's the long red lomboks or the small red rawit doesn't matter to the orginal recipe) -- actually, I think I may want to try that myself next time...Thanks for the suggestion, I never would have thought of it on my own!
Jan. 20th, 2004 08:04 am (UTC)
It sure does...I cook Indian as well, or Ken Hom, whose Chinese Californinan fusion cooking is just yummy...
Jan. 20th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)


I'm coming to dinner!

Seriously, I might actually make that. And I like it spicy.

Jan. 21st, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks again! (The Spanish porkchops I made last night are almost gone, so on to delicious rendang padang!)
Jan. 22nd, 2004 06:15 am (UTC)
Bon appetit!
Jan. 22nd, 2004 05:46 am (UTC)

1. Can you do it with chicken.

2. Will you cook it for us in June?
Jan. 22nd, 2004 06:14 am (UTC)
1) Can you do it with chicken?

Possibly -- but it wouldn't be rendang, which basically means 'beef curry'.

But there are other recipes for spicy chicken, fish, and even vegetable dishes, so I could dig 'em out for you...

Will you cook it for us in June?

Depends on whether we can a) find the ingredients b) have the use of the proper facilities c) I can be shagged to prepare anything but a quick tossed salad ;-)
Jan. 22nd, 2004 08:35 am (UTC)
But there are other recipes for spicy chicken, fish, and even vegetable dishes, so I could dig 'em out for you...

Oh, yes please! I love to cook, especially Indian and Thai food. I hate the every day cooking thing though. Too dull. But give me a few hours in the kitchen and a bunch of exotic ingredients and I'm really happy. We used to live in South London, in an area with a high ethnic population, so there were some wonderful Asian grocers around for fresh ingredients (plus some fabulous restaurants - in the days BC we ate out most nights). But this part of leafy and dull Kent doesn't seem to run to such things, and although I know most of the major supermarkets stock Eastern spices and stuff these days, it isn't the same (or as cheap).
( 11 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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