Rendang Padang (Indonesian Beef Curry) and Raita

This is a terrific recipe I adapted from “The Secrets of Slow Cooking” by Liana Krissoff.  Joan just got this cookbook in the store a couple weeks ago and the cover alone made me want to try one of the  recipes.  Like last week’s slow cooker recipe this is easy to prepare with a really impressive result.  The Rendang Padang (Indonesian Beef Curry) recipe was absolutely delicious with a nice kick…I’d describe it as a spicy Indian Curry with an exotic Thai/Sumatran flair.   I served it with Jasmine Rice &  Raita which is a cool Indian dish made with yogurt and a nice complement to spicy curries (recipe also below).  I did make some substitutions and additions which are notated.

Ingredients:

  • beef-curry3 lbs beef stew meat , cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (I substituted 2 lbs organic round steak cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces…you could use chuck steak as well)
  • 8 fresh hot cayenne or other red chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped (I used 6  & removed seeds to keep it from being too hot)
  • 1/2 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 inches fresh ginger , peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, tender insides finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup tamarind paste mixed with 1/3 cup warm water. (I used 3 Tbls of a tamarind based package of seasonings a friend brought from India and mixed with the water. Tamarind paste can be hard to find (Guido’s does carry it) and can vary in strength of flavor so use your own judgment.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (could only find 13.5 oz can)
  • 2-3  medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (optional)
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt
  • Jasmine Rice (optional)
  • 2 Cardamom Pods (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.   Put the beef in a 4-quart slow cooker.
2.   In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles, onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, tamarind paste, 1 cup warm water, and the spices. Process to a smooth puree.
3.   Pour pureed spices over the beef.  Stir in the coconut milk.  Add potatoes and carrots if using.
4.   Cook, covered, on the low setting for 5-6 hours, until the beef is very tender and the sauce darkens in color.
5.   Ladle most of the sauce into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened and reduced (20-30 minutes), then pour it back into the cooker.  Cook uncovered on the high setting for 30 minutes to an hour longer.
6.  Optional:   Bring 2 cups of water (can use diluted chicken stock) with 2 cardamom pods to a boil and add 1-1/2 cups jasmine rice.  Bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
7.   Just before serving stir 2 teaspoons of sugar into the beef curry and salt to taste.
8.   Serve with or over jasmine rice (after retrieving cardamom pods)

Makes 6-8 servings.

RAITA
This is my own recipe for raita.  It’s not only wonderful as an accompaniment for Indian food, it also makes a great dip for crudite, crackers or pita bread.  And…it’s really simple!

  • 1 pint or 2 small containers of a good quality plain yogurt (Greek yogurts are especially good for this)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into small 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 TBLS finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (I grind them quickly with a mortar & pestle to release flavor)
  • Just a touch of honey (start with a little…taste to see if you want more)
  • Salt to taste

Mix everything together thoroughly and chill.  Garnish with slices of cucumber and mint leaves.

secrets-of-slow-cookingNote: When I made the Rendang Padang, it came out with more (and lighter in color) sauce than in the picture above.  Probably due to the addition of  carrots and potatoes.  It was still incredibly delicious and there was not a single bit of curry or a grain of rice left!

I can hardly wait to try some more of the recipes in “Secrets of Slow Cooking…Creating Extraordinary Food with Your Slow Cooker”.   This cookbook has more than 60 recipes for extraordinary slow-cooked food. From appetizers to vegetables to main dishes to desserts… foods that will really delight your family and surprise your friends.

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