“What’s Cooking” tonight is a Red Curry Beef with Potatoes and Carrots. This is a Malaysian style curry dish. Malaysian food is very diverse and is a real melting pot of many different culinary cuisines; ranging from Malay, Indian, Chinese, Mamak (which is Hindu Muslim), Nyonya (Straits Chinese), Hawker style (“Street Food”) and many others.
If you are a MasterChef Australia’s fan and if you have watched tonight’s program, one of the contestant, Poh (born in Malaysia) has the advantage to choose tonight’s theme and two key ingredients for the invention test. She chose a Malaysian theme, and the key ingredients are coconut cream and Ling (a firm fish which is good for curry). Malaysian cuisine, unlike Thai, Vietnamese and Indian, is a cuisine that is not familiar to a lot of people. The judges describe the cuisine as complex with many different flavours making use of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal as an example of some base ingredients to make a Malaysian dish. Naturally, Poh won tonight’s challenge with her creation of “Otak-Otak” and her rich pandan flavoured coconut pudding.
Last weekend I cooked a red curry beef for my dinner party. I choose a tomato base for the dish rather than creating a rich coconut curry dish.
To make the curry paste, pound or blend the following ingredients (if you like a bit more texture, then roughly pound the ingredients to create that aromatic infused flavour; otherwise, you can use the blender to create a smoother texture)
1 spanish onion
3 cloves garlic
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 inch ginger
1 inch galangal
8 dried chillies
3 red chillies
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anises
Heat 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok, fry the dried spices first then add the curry paste. Fry the spices until fragrant. Then add 1 kg of chuck beef (diced into big chunks), add water to almost cover the beef. Turn the heat down to simmer the beef until almost tender, then add diced potatoes, carrots and 1 can of tomato. Continue to simmer until beef is tender. Add salt and sugar to taste.
Yeap, it is that simple and the flavour is a bit sweet, spicy and very aromatic from all the different spices.
Enjoy this recipe and “Makan-Lah”.