South East Asian Beef Curry

Not a beef rendang because there’s too much sauce. Not a massaman curry because there’s no potatoes. This is a compilation of my favourite curry ingredients, served as Mum served her sweet curry and rice back in the 60’s. The sauce lacks 2 things – chilli and coconut milk. But it is thick with spices. You’ll need a blender or food processor for this recipe.

2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp neutral flavoured oil (not olive)
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped galangal (or another tbsp of fresh ginger)
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1-2 stalks lemongrass
6 kaffir lime leaves
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 cinnamon stick
750g beef cut into 1cm cubes
2 tbsps soy
1 tspn red curry paste
1 tbsp tamarind water or juice of a lime

Fry onion with a little salt in oil until just browned.
Process finely galangal, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime and desiccated coconut. Add enough water to ensure it processes finely. Reserve 2 tsps. to add later. Fry remainder with the onions for 30 seconds.
Add beef, cinnamon stick, tamarind, curry paste and soy. Add enough water to just cover meat, stir to combine, and place in oven at 90 degrees Celsius for at least 3 hours, or until tender.
To serve, place plain rice in the centre of a plate, and make an indentation in the middle. Place curry in the indentation. Place accompaniments around the curry.

Tomatoes chopped combined with fresh coriander
Bananas mixed with desiccated coconut
Cucumber grated and combined with yoghurt
Sweet chutney

Lemon cake

This cake has an intense lemon flavour and a crispy crust from the sugar put on top after baking. It is my favourite cake of all time, and that's saying something!

3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil  
2 eggs  
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind  
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup (280g) thick natural yoghurt  
1 3/4 cups (385g) caster sugar  
2 cups (300g) self raising flour   
Crunchy Lemon Topping 
3/4 cup (120g) granulated (not caster) sugar  
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice    

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  
Place oil, eggs, rind, lemon juice, yoghurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  
Sift over flour and stir until smooth.  
Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm ring or loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  
To make the lemon frosting, gently stir together the sugar and lemon juice. Spoon over the cake while it is still in the pan and allow to set. 
 Serves 10-12