Along with Vietnamese food, Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant in the world; full of colours and intense flavours. Over six-thousand of the eighteen-thousand islands that form Indonesia are populated and there are overthree-hundred ethnic groups who call Indonesia their home. This leads tomany regional variations in cooking, often based upon local culture as well as foreign influences.We could write an entire series on Indonesia alone, with well over five thousand traditional recipes. Indonesian cuisine often includes rice, noodle and soup dishes andas with many of the Far-Eastern cuisines, food can range from simple dishes sold by street vendors to more complex and expensive dishes sold in restaurants.
Today I have chosen to use beef, but lamb or goat are good alternatives and lend themselves well to this recipe.
What you need
For the beef
1 kg beef cut into cubes
4 tbs oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 stalk lemongrass (cut into 10cm length and pounded)
400ml coconut cream
2 tsp tamarind paste
6 kaffir lime leaves (finely sliced)
6 tablespoons toasted coconut (kerisik)
1 tbs palm sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
For the spice paste
3 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
5 cloves garlic
3 fresh chillies deseeded and chopped, or 6 dried chillies, deseeded and chopped.
2 tbs of ground nut oil
Add the spice paste ingredients to a food processor and blend until fine.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan
Add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom; stir-fry until aromatic.
Add the beef and the pounded lemon grass and stir for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk and tamarind.
Simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
Add the kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, palm sugar and salt, blend well with the meat.
Lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender and the liquid has dried up.
Drain excess oil as necessary.
Serve with steamed rice.
To prepare the toasted coconut (kerisik), add grated coconut to a dry wok or frying pan and stir continuously until the coconut turns golden brown. Take care as it only takes a few seconds to go from golden brown to dark brown.
I hope you enjoyed the thirty-fourth of our eighty dishes from around the world. Please join me next time when we visit Papua New Guinea.