Javanese Curry

The traditional ingredients for this Javanese curry are not all available in Britain but zohere possible, alternatives have been suggested or the use of the ingredient made optional. All the other ingredients are available at Oriental provision stores and the larger supermarkets. If you do not have an electric blender, the fresh ingredients can be finely chopped and the spices and nuts used in their powdered or ground forms.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 tablespoons blanched almonds

2 onions, coarsely chopped

3 green chillis lg-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled

3 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon trasi or anchovy paste

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 lb. stewing steak, cut into

1-inch cubes

10 fl. oz. water

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon laos powder (optional)

1 teaspoon sereh powder or grated lemon rind 1 walnut-sized piece of tamarind soaked in 4 tablespoons of hot water

8 oz. green cabbage, washed and shredded

8 spring onions , cut into

1-inch lengths.

5 fl. oz. freshly made thick coconut milk, or 2 oz. creamed coconut dissolved in 5 fl. oz. water

In an electric blender, grind the cumin, coriander and almonds together. Add the onions, chillis, ginger, garlic and trasi or anchovy paste and blend to a paste, adding enough water to prevent the blades from sticking.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the spice paste and, stirring frequently, fry for 5 minutes or until the spice paste comes away from the sides of the pan.

Add the beef cubes and fry them FOR to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.

Pour in the water and stir in the salt, laos, if you are using it, sereh or grated lemon rind. Bring the curry to the boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until the beef is tender.

Meanwhile, strain the tamarind into a cup, pouring the water through the strainer a number of times. Using your fingers, squeeze as much of the pulp through the strainer as possible and dis-card the seeds and fibres.

Add the shredded cabbage, the spring onions , coconut milk and tamarind liquid to the curry. Increase the heat to moderate and bring the curry to the boil again. Stir and let it boil for 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, spoor. the curry into a deep dish and serve.

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