Sambal is a Malaysia sauce or pastes typically made from a mixture of a variety of chilli peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, and lime juice. Sambal is a Malaysian loan-word of Javanese origin (sambel). It is native to the cuisines of Malaysia and popular in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brunei and Singapore. It has also spread through overseas populations to the Netherlands and Suriname.
Various recipes of sambals usually are served as hot and spicy condiments for dishes, such as lalab (raw vegetables), Ikan Bakar (grilled fish), ikan goreng (fried fish), Ayam goreng (fried chicken), Ayam penyet (smashed chicken), iga penyet (ribs) and various Soto soup. There are 212 variants of sambal in Indonesia, with most of them originated from Java.
Rendang Composition & Cooking Method
Rendang is often described as slow-cooked meat in coconut milk and spices. The cooking technique flourished because of its role in preserving meat in a tropical climate. Prior to refrigeration technology, this style of cooking enabled the preservation of a large amount of meat.
The cut of beef suitable for rendang is lean meat of the rear leg of the cattle; i.e. topside or ground beef, which is considered perfect for slow cooking.
Rendang is rich in spices. Along with the main meat ingredient, rendang uses coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, including ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chillis and other spices. This spice mixture is called pemasak in Minangkabau. The spices, garlic, shallot, ginger and galangal used in rendang have antimicrobial properties and serve as natural organic preservatives. If cooked properly, dry rendang can last for as long as four weeks.
Traditionally the term rendang does not refer to a certain type of dish. The verb merendang actually refers to a method of slow cooking; continuously churning the ingredients in a pot or frying pan, on a small fire, until all of the liquids evaporate and the meat is well done. Traditional Padang rendang takes hours to cook. Cooking rendang involves pounding and grinding ingredients as well as slow cooking, and so is time-consuming and requires patience. The meat pieces are slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices until almost all the liquid is gone, allowing the meat to become tender and absorb the condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying, as the liquid evaporates and the coconut milk turns to coconut oil. Cooking the meat until tender with almost all the liquid evaporated requires great care, keeping it from getting burnt. Because of its generous use of numerous spices, rendang is known for having a complex and unique taste.
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