Have You Eaten?

Mimi ON Sep 20, 2012 AT 9:34 am

Australian food blogger and former Masterchef Australia contestant Billy Law has just launched his first book in the UK.

Have You Eaten by Billy Law

Billy is Malaysian and his wonderful book Have you Eaten? is packed full of fabulous Malay dishes, from noodles to curries, it has it all. He also has a killer dessert section that is packed full of awesome chocolate-based dishes.  The Fudgy Macadamia and Peanut Butter Brownies – are to die for!

As it’s my favourite dish, I thought I’d share Billy’s version of Beef Rendang

Serves 4 – 6


1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) topside or chuck steak, cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes

3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, bruised with a pestle

3 kaffir lime leaves, plus

1 extra, rolled and thinly sliced

540 ml (18 fl oz) tinned coconut milk

250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) water

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

90 g (3 oz/1 cup) desiccated Coconut


Spice paste

10 g (½ oz) dried red chillies (about 20), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes until softened, then drained

130 g (4¼ oz) French shallots (about 12 small shallots), peeled

4 cm (1½ inch) piece galangal, peeled

4 cm (1½ inch) piece ginger, peeled

2 cm (¾ inch) piece turmeric, peeled (or 1 tablespoon ground turmeric)


  1. Toast the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns in a dry frying pan over low heat. Once the fennel seeds start making popping sounds, transfer the toasted spices into a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
  2. To make the spice paste, put all the ingredients into a food processor and process into a fine paste.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium–low heat, add the spice paste and fry gently for 8–10 minutes until fragrant and darker red in colour. Add the beef, lemongrass, 3 whole kaffir lime leaves and ground spices, stirring to mix well. Cook for about 3 minutes until the beef is lightly cooked, then add the coconut milk and water, stir to combine, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 1½ hours until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Season with salt and sugar, to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over low heat. Add the desiccated coconut and toast until golden, stirring constantly so the coconut doesn’t burn (take care it doesn’t burn or it will have an unpleasant flavour). Set aside to cool, then put in a food processor and pulse a few times until the coconut becomes fine crumbs.
  5. Add the toasted coconut to the beef, stirring frequently over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the coconut releases its oil and is absorbed by the meat. Garnish with the sliced kaffir lime leaf and serve with steamed rice.




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