Look Mum I made a Rendang!

Like all Mums, mine is a fountain of unsolicited good advice:

1) Always brush and tie-up your hair at bedtime

2) You don´t need to buy ANOTHER face cream, you need to drink more water

3) If you´re scared of doing something ask yourself what´s the worst that could happen. If you end up broke and homeless, you´ll just have to move back in with us – so take risks!

4) Cook on Sundays and freeze single serving portions

Well, whatever her advice, it´s taken me a long time to start understanding that Mums really do know best. That´s not to say that I follow 1) or 2), but 3) I do very often and 4) once in a while.

It´s not often that I cook in bulk, but when I do it´s something that I want to eat over and over again. Something that will provide a comforting ending to the days when you get home from the office at Stupid O´Clock and sticking something in the microwave is all you can do.

This curry is just that.

When I decided to make a Rendang I spent a lot of time Googling around to try and recreate the taste memory of my childhood in Brunei and this recipe from Su-Lin at Tamarind and Thyme is a keeper.

If you´d like to cook it I´ll let you check out her post for the recipe (alternatively, if you´re one of those armchair foodies, check out this post from the Amateur Gourmet for some fantastic food writing). Here are some tips to keep in mind when making the Rendang:

1. It doesn´t have to be beef, I´ve made it with lamb which works out great.

2. I also added a bay leaf and doubled the quantities of cinammon, cardamom and cloves (I´m Indian, that´s what we´re like).

2. I braise this in a closed dutch oven and depending on the cut of meat I´ll cook it for up to 3 hours. I feel that this keeps the meat nice and tender. I fish out the meat at the end and reduce the sauce with a hard boil before putting the meat back in for the final fry.

3. The toasted coconut or “kerisik” is essential, here´s a good post on it. I use dessicated coconut and like Su-Lin add the whole flakes to the curry.

4. Take your time. I usually make the spice paste and toast the coconut one evening and cook the curry the next day.

5. When you freeze, it´s well worth investing in small ziplock freezer bags. Take the time to portion out your curry and always spread the contents as thinly as possible in the bag so that you have a nice flat package that will defrost so much more quickly than a chunk.

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Comments
6 Responses to “Look Mum I made a Rendang!”
  1. Florence says:

    It’s so sweet what you write, and how you write it, and you’re so kind to both yourself and your Mom and thus to humankind. No, I’m not drunk, just had my first coffee.
    You’re a role model in treating yourself well, in a loving way. Don’t ever put your address in, otherwise you’ll end up with crowds of people on your doorstep who will want you to take care of them!
    Btw, we’re fans of cooking ahead, too, and it’s always a braise. They work so well on themselves or with pasta/rice/quinoa. Having said this, I made the Bill Granger tomato soup last night, dead easy, and very suitable for freezing as well!

  2. Maddie says:

    Brunei, huh? I’d love to hear more about your childhood there…my curiosity is piqued!

    And I second your insight about mothers’ advice being best. There’s something about their years of experience and perspective that makes their aphorisms ring much truer than those of your peers. I only wish my mom had advised me to make a rendang, because yours sounds mouthwatering.

  3. Rajika says:

    Haha!! That sounds EXACTLY like my mum! 😀
    i found your website from shaheen’s and i think im going to send her a message thanking her!
    love your blog!
    hug 🙂
    raj.

  4. Excellent ideas, both Mum’s and yours. I’m off to drink a glass of water.

  5. nadya says:

    Sounds delicious, and lovely photos as usual 🙂 Your mum is so right about the water, I just bought a fancy new facecream in the hope of getting flawless skin and all it’s done is make me break out!

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