Quorn rendang curry

Deena shares her best-ever recipe for the classic Malaysian dish in her Quorn rendang curry recipe. Richly spiced with lemongrass, ginger and galangal, this coconut-based curry creates a rich, thick sauce that clings to the protein-packed Quorn pieces. Vegan Quorn is now widely available in the UK, but make sure to double check the label if cooking up a vegan storm.

First published in 2015

One of the things I love about London is that pretty much any cuisine I want to explore is accessible. Some of these cuisines became regular features on my home-cooking menu such as Malaysian recipes with their fresh and sprightly flavours of lemongrass, chillies and lime leaves. Over the years I have read about the fusion of cultures that influences Malaysian cooking; Malays, Chinese, Indian and apparently even Portuguese and Dutch, and for me this makes it such a testament to the success that fusion food can deliver.

I am shameless when it comes to slurping up bowls of fragrant laksa, but the dish that has always made me most curious is rendang curry. I think it is the thick, clinging curry sauce that just makes me swoon for vegetarian alternatives to the traditional heavy meat-based versions of this recipe. The curry gravy reaches thrilling levels of wonderfulness when simmered for around an hour, making it unsuitable for vegetable-based dishes, but Quorn works well in that it just becomes tender and soaks up the flavours of the curry base over this time.

I haven’t added brown sugar, palm sugar or other sweeteners to this recipe, but what I have done is add tamarind paste and powdered some toasted coconut to give a little touch of sweetness. It has taken me about three attempts to get to a rendang recipe that I am happy with and I have to say, this one is just divine. I have served it with a really easy and colourful carrot salad and steaming hot rice.




Rendang curry

Carrot salad


Start by making the curry paste. Blitz the onion, garlic, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, chillies and turmeric to a smooth paste
Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the paste until the colour darkens slightly and the paste is aromatic
Stir in the Quorn and fry the chunks in the paste for a couple of minutes further
Now add the cinnamon, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom pods and lime zest, then add the coconut milk and tamarind and season to taste
Cook the curry for about an hour on a low flame until the curry base clings to the Quorn
Meanwhile, toast the desiccated coconut on a dry, non-stick pan until it catches a golden colour then allow it to cool before grinding it to a powder. This powder will deepen the colour of the curry and also add sweetness. Add the powder after the curry has simmered for about half an hour
For the carrot salad, heat the oil in a pan and then add the onion and black sesame seeds and allow the onion to soften for a minute before stirring in the carrots
Sprinkle in the salt and turmeric and then once you have stirred the carrots, squeeze in the lime juice
Serve the rendang curry on a bed of white rice with the carrot salad on the side
First published in 2015

Deena is a food writer with work published in UK magazines such as BBC Good Food, Delicious, Cook Veg and Fork.

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