Darwin-based Malaysian chef Samiah Latiff invented these roti wrap to sell at the Nightcliff markets in Darwin. This recipe is a contemporary twist on a traditional dish taught to Samiah by her mother.
A rich beef curry, crunchy carrot, fresh cucumber and a nutty satay sauce are wrapped up in tender roti.
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 290 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 12 long red fresh or dried chillies (see note)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped galangal
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 kg beef chuck steak, cut into 4 cm cubes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 3 star anise
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, bruised
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 2 tsp tamarind concentrate
- 25 g (⅓ cup) finely shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or grated palm sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 70 g (¼ cup) crunchy peanut butter
- 70 g (¼ cup) smooth peanut butter
- 125 ml (½ cup) hot water
- 1½ tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp kecap manis
- 2 tbsp fried Asian shallots (available from Asian grocers)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Roti dough resting time: overnight
The following recipe has been edited and may differ slightly from the video.
1. For the roti canai, place the salt, sugar and 200 ml water in a jug and stir to dissolve. Place the flour in a bowl, add the water and stir until the mixture comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 6 balls and place on an oiled plate. Pour over the remaining oil, turn to coat, then place in an airtight container. Cover and stand at room temperature overnight.
2. For the salad, mix sugar, water and vinegar til sugar dissolves. Pour over carrot and cucumber and sit until cooled then refrigerate. For best results, do this a day ahead.
3. Meanwhile, for the spice paste, place all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blitz until finely chopped.
4. For the beef rendang, add the beef and spice paste to a large, cold pot with enough water to cover it. Stir to combine and bring to simmer, then immediately reduce the heat to low so the sauce is bubbling very gently. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 1¼ hours. Remove the lid and check the beef to see how tender it is. You don't want it to be "fall apart at a touch" at this stage, but it should be quite tender. If it is fall-apart already, remove the beef from the pan before proceeding.
5. Add all the remaining curry ingredients and increase the heat to medium stirring every now and then at first, then frequently towards the end until the beef browns and the sauce reduces to a paste that coats the beef (around 30-40 minutes). The beef should now be very tender and fall apart at a touch. If not, add a splash of water and keep cooking. Remove from the heat.
6. For the peanut sauce, place the peanut butter and boiling water in a heatproof bowl and stir to combine, then gradually add the sugar and kecap manis. Transfer to a serving bowl and just before serving, scatter the fried shallots on top.
7. To cook the roti, preheat a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten the dough on a work surface, then pick up and flip it several times until it stretches and expands to become very thin. If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of flipping and stretching dough, you may wish to use a rolling pin to flatten and thin out the dough. Once the dough is very thin, lift the left side of the dough and fold it to the right to cover two thirds of the whole surface. Do the same with the right, then fold the roti into a square shape. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Cook the roti in the dry preheated frying pan on each side until golden and crisp. Once cooked, remove the roti from the pan and give them a light ‘clap’ to break them up slightly.
8. Once the roti are ready, place a large spoonful of beef rendang onto the roti, add a handful of salad and several tablespoons of peanut sauce on top, then wrap tightly and serve immediately.
• If using dried chillies, soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them, then drain and coarsely chop before adding to the blender.
• Fried Asian shallots are available from Asian grocers.
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