Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday's Activities: Beef Rendang, Open Houses and an Unexpected Encounter

I usually cook chicken rendang - Negeri Sembilan style, the way my late (Allahyarham) mom  used to make. But once in a while I like to try a different kind of I started Googling and decided to cook beef rendang and the recipe I'm using is a simple one; no long list of ingredients.. (lots of recipes for rendang on the internet, I combined and modified..and simplified) Well, the rendang is not an everyday dish actually, mainly because it takes some time to cook (maybe 2 - 3 hours to get the meat really tender and the sauce to dry). It's cooked for special occasions like Eid and weddings. Anyway I cooked rendang yesterday because we were expecting a few guests, since Eid celebrations isn't over yet, people! I decided to document the process so that my daughter wouldn't be texting or calling me to instruct her on how to cook some favourite family recipe. Now I can just tell her, "Look it up in my blog!" Even though this is not a family recipe (yet) but the hubby appears to love this dish already.. 
Well, here are the main ingredients that you need to blend in order to cook a kilogram of beef:
Onions, garlic, fresh tumeric, ginger, galangal, lemongrass and ground dried chillies.
About a kilo of beef cut into cubes and washed.
I used my mini food processor to chop everything up finely or you may use a blender (you would need to add a little bit of water)
Heat up about 3-4 tablespoonful of oil and fry the processed ingredients for about 5 minutes..
Add in the beef
Let the water drawn from the meat evaporates..don't forget to stir now and then (even if you use a non-stick pan)
In the meantime cut some tumeric leaf from your garden..and grab a couple of sliced and dried gelugor fruit
Slice the tumeric leaves like so.. I'd add some sliced kaffir lime leaves too if I have them around (give the rendang that special aroma..)
The water has dried out somewhat.. (don't forget to stir..)
Here's about 500g of thick coconut milk..
..which you now add to the spicy beef in your kuali/wok/pan..
Throw in the gelugor slices and tumeric leaves
Then about 1 tablespoonful of salt or to taste..
About a tablespoonful of brown sugar.
A special ingredient: a tablespoonful of kerisik (coconut flakes which has been toasted and ground finely)
Let the rendang simmer (very low fire ok) for a couple of hours until the sauce thickens and the colour turns brownish..(don't ever forget to stir now and then or you'll have a black inedible dish at the end..)
Well..that's my recipe for today (which I cooked yesterday). I've frozen some (this is an excellent dish for freezing; you can cook a kilo of beef or more, divide into meal-size containers and freeze. To eat, just pop a container into the microwave don't need to wait for special occasions to enjoy a rendang dish) so that the daughter who is in Meru with Adik right now will be able to have a taste when they come to KT in a few days time..
Yesterday after the Friday prayers and the rendang was cooked, we went to an 'open house' of a member of my happy circle, Wan. It was also an occasion to celebrate the birthday of her son, Muaz; here's the cute little birthday boy:

Hey..I'm one year old today..
Had some laksa Penang there..
A sweet (literally..) lovely gift to take home..
Oh no.. I've eaten birthday boy..delish!
It was raining cats and dogs yesterday..but we braved the bad weather..
After that we went to another 'open house' of another member of my happy circle. She had another guest there, who looked at me..and I looked at her and we kept saying: "You look very familiar..where have we met before?" We started to list the places we might have met...and when I mentioned I was in Gombak about 20 years ago and she was teaching at an Islamic school there - Al-Amin...she suddenly said, "Your son is Umar?". She was Bang Long's teacher when he was in standard one! It's incredible that we meet again after all these years! We used to see each other quite a lot back then because a couple of friends and I did some catering for the school. MasyAllah..what a small world!

That's Rohani second from the right..
Late afternoon, the weather cleared up and we were back home and entertained a few guests with the rendang and nasi impit.. As a consequence, I was nearly late for my Tajweed lesson at the IQ (Institut Quran) last night.. and didn't know that they were going to have an Eid feast after class..(I didn't attend last week because I was in Meru). I didn't bring any food but ended up bringing left-over food back home.. Truly, we Malaysian are blessed with too much good food for our own good..

Apart from this spread there were satay, nasi Arab and wonder I didn't sleep well last night..
Help..I really need to start exercising again!

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