Rendang is a popular dish of meat (chicken, mutton or beef) stewed in coconut milk and a variety of spices and chilli. Originating among the Minangkabau ethnic people of Indonesia, it is hugely popular in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. I do enjoy some of the dishes of the Malay cuisine but I don't fancy the use of meat of any kind. Upon seeing a FB video of Rendang Ayam (Ayam is chicken in the Malay language), I decided to come up with a vegetarian version of this dish. If you think about it, most of the dishes that uses meat can be replaced with the very versatile tofu. I replaced the coconut milk with skim milk to reduce calorie count. A tasty result with a strong flavor of lemongrasss and kaffir lime leaves - both of which I love :)
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side dish)
2 red chillies - cut into big species
10gm dried red chillies (around 6 pieces) soaked in hot water for 30 mins
12 shallots, peeled and cut into half
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into half
2 inch turmeric root, peeled and sliced
1 inch blue ginger (galangal), peeled and sliced
2 lemongrass, skinned and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tbsp canola oil (yes you need that much for the ground paste to cook)
2 pieces of blue ginger
2 lemongrass, slightly bruised to release the essence
2 heaped tsps mushroom seasoning
450ml skim milk ( 200ml Low Fat coconut and 250 ml skim milk)
2 blocks of firm tofu cut into 8 big cubes and grilled/shallow fried/air fried
5 kaffir lime leaves , sliced thin
1)Gather the ingredients - under A.
2) Under B.
3) Grind A and B into a paste seperately.
4) Get a big pot and heat the 4 tbsp of oil and start frying the blue ginger pieces and the lemongrass.
5) Add the ground chilli paste A and fry for 5 minutes.
6) Now, add the ground paste B and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring and watch out for the heat so that the paste doesn't burn.
7) After 10 minutes, the mix would have taken an orange hue.
8) Add the 50 ml water and stir for a few minutes.
9) This will then be followed by the skim milk and grilled tofu cubes . Stir and cook for 15 minutes covered.
10) After 15 minutes, the gravy would have thickened and reduce to form a thick consistency. Add the sugar, salt and the sliced kaffir lime leaves now.
11) Cook for another 5 more minutes and switch of the flame.
12) Serve with any rice of your preference, garnished with more sliced kaffir lime leaves. If you find the gravy too thick, dilute with 1/2 cup hot water.