Okay, Hari Raya has come and almost gone. Everybody has had about as much bad satay as they can handle. I on the other hand am totally in love with Lemang!
What is lemang? one might ask?

Lemang is ubiquitous amongst Malay communities and commonly eaten to mark the end of daily fasting during the annual Muslim Malaysian holidays of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji. The aboriginal communities of West Malaysia (Orang Asli) also practice cooking rice in bamboo. (Wikipedia)

How To Make Lemang:
What You'll Need
1. THREE pieces, cut bamboo about 16" long each
2. Young banana leaves (Puchok daun pisang)
3. 600 g pulut rice
4. ONE coconut  

Step One
Insert the banana leaves into bamboo and fill the bamboo with the pulut. Do not compact the pulut.

Step Two
Tie banana leaves round open end of bamboo to seal it. Cook pulut by placing bamboo horizontally over a slow charcoal fire. (Like in Picture Above)

Step Three
Re-cover open end and continue cooking the pulot over the charcoal fire until cooked. Cooking time takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours)

You can add flavour to the pulut or colouring and try adding stuff like corn and kidney beans to make it interesting.

Lemang goes VERY VERY well with Rendang
Ingredients for Rendang

1½ lb beef cut into 1½ to 2-inch chunks [tougher cuts of beef is suitable]
4 cups thick coconut milk
1 cup fresh coconut [meat], finely grated [Substitute: unsweetened desiccated coconut]
2 stalks lemongrass, slightly crushed [cut to fit in the wok or pan]
2-3 turmeric leaves [daun kunyit], [Substitute: kaffir lime leaves; or the zest of 1 lime]
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
4-5 tbsp chili paste
1½-inch fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
1-inch galangal [lengkuas in Malay], peeled, sliced
1½ inch fresh turmeric root [kunyit basah in Malay], peeled, sliced
2 tsp coarse salt
       [Items in red are to be ground or blended]
To Prepare :

Step 1
Season beef with salt and pepper, marinate for at least 30 mins (longer the better as meat get nice and tender)

Step 2
Using a mortar & pestle or blender grind galangal, ginger, turmeric root, chili paste and kosher salt into a spice paste

Step 3
In a dry heated pan, toast the finely grated coconut [meat] over low heat, keep stirring until golden brown. Allow to cool, then using a mortar & pestle, pound into a paste [called kerisik in Malay]

Step 3
Heat wok on high, stir-fry spice paste 2-3 mins, add coconut milk, reduce heat and slowly bring to a gentle boil; stir often

Step 4
Add beef and simmer for 10 mins
Add lemongrass stalk, turmeric leaves [or kaffir lime leaves; or lime zest], sugar and season with salt and pepper
Reduce heat to low, uncovered, simmer for 1-1½ hrs; stir often with a spatula [be sure to 'scrape' the bottom of wok], add a little water if it starts to dry up too quickly]
Add the toasted coconut paste [kerisik] during the last 30 mins of cooking
When the beef is very tender - the gravy, thickens and oil starts to float on top - remove from heat and discard the lemongrass stalks and turmeric leaves

 When you have both items prepared you can eat them together!!! If the lemang recipe is too hard for you to make yourself, try and get some from Tescos or check out the many stalls selling lemang along the roadside.

My favourite 'Lemang' man sells Lemang Jagung, which is an interesting mix.

My favourite way to eat Rendang? I like to put it with maggi mi sup kambing. Yes !!! It almost tastes like my favourite beef noodles from Chiang Mai!





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