I remembered years ago during Ramazan in Thailand, in the evening when I walked in the market, it smelled particularly aromatic. The fragrance was beautiful and unusual than what I was familiar with. When I looked for the source responsible for such scent, I came to find a gigantic pot filled with yellow rice and chunks of meat with delicious perfume swirling on top of it.
The woman shoveled generous amount of rice with a light steel plate to the takeaway boxes. A few customers sat on the plastic stools right next to the pot. They each had a plate of that heavenly looking rice in one and another hand a spoon. I was hooked at visual and scent of this dish before I could taste it.
Gradually, this beef rice called Khoa Mok Nuer has become a popular dish in my household. My mom decided to look for the recipe, and we made it at home during the rainy days. This dish is heavy, hearty and comforting. And whenever we make this at home or how much we cook it, we will always go back until every grain of rice was scraped off the pot.
I don’t call this recipe “Khoa Mok Nuer” because it isn’t the original version I normally cook when I have all ingredients in my kitchen. This one is a shortcut version which not only quick and fuss free, but equally good. You will love the aroma and how the meat melt in aromatic rice. If you’re not a fan of beef, you can always try this with lamb or chicken.
Easy Beef Rice
Ingredients: (6-8 serving)
1kg beef- cut into big chunks
4 cups rice- cleaned and washed
6 cups chicken stock (or beef stock)
1 cup water
10 shallots- sliced
8 cloves garlic- minced
4 coriander roots- chopped
50 gm yellow curry paste
3 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp of salt or to taste
3 tbsp butter- divided
1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp oil
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass- slice into 3 pieces and bruise them with a knife
Season beef with turmeric powder, light soy sauce and salt, mix well and keep aside for 30 minutes.
In a small pan over medium low heat, melt 2 tbsp butter and sauté shallots until golden brown. Add garlic and coriander root and fry further until aromatic and keep aside.
In a big pot (10 ltr) over the medium heat, add oil and fry yellow curry paste until fragrant.
Add beef directly into the paste and stir for a few minutes to get beef nice and brown on the outside. The beef should release some juice at this stage.
Add yogurt and cook further for 1 minute.
Add one cup of water, stir well to make sure nothing sticks at the bottom, cover with a lid and simmer for 1- 1.5 hour or until the meat is tender. (I usually transfer the meat to pressure cooker and cook it for 20 minutes and the meat should be very tender.)
Add chicken stock (or beef stock) and bring to boil. Add fried shallot-garlic-coriander root mixture, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and rice. Stir briskly and cover with the lid again. Cook further for 10- 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. You should keep checking on the rice and stir to see that the bottom doesn’t get burnt. When the rice is cooked perfectly, add a tbsp of melted butter on top.
I usually serve this dish with Sweet & Sour Black Bean Sauce and some fresh cucumber on the side. The dish is good on its own, but you can try it with chili sauce, fresh coriander leaves, sliced shallots and a little lime juice, too.