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Monday, 19 November 2012

Kedah Beef Dalca (Dalca Daging Kedah)


I murdered this recipe. In cold blood. My apologies to Ms Betty Saw and the good people of Kedah. But I digress. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered if a recipe in a cookbook is complete? I mean, was it properly edited and there are no errors or omissions? Do I sound like an auditor?

Turned out good after tweaking.
Looking at the Dalca Daging Kedah recipe in Betty Saw's Rasa Malaysia, I felt that something was amiss. No onions, no garlic, no ginger. The spice mix was made up of dried chillies and dry spices. Did the typist accidentally leave out a section of the recipe? I could not google for verification against other dalca recipes as my new home computer was not installed yet (the old one died 3 weeks ago). And to go through my other cookbooks would take forever.


Spice mix as per recipe.
Going against my better judgement, I went ahead. I sauteed the blended ingredients and as expected, it did not smell as good as it should have as it was missing onions, garlic and ginger.

Blended spice mix.

The recipe also calls for marinating the beef ribs with kerisik (pounded dessicated coconut). I put too much and the gravy had a strong coconut smell.


Beef ribs marinated with kerisik. I put way too much.
Well, I had to do something. I could have sauteed some onions, garlic and ginger and plonked it into the dalca. But I didn't. Instead, I added a packet of curry powder. And at the end of the cooking, I fried some dried chillies and cumin and added that to the dalca. And that rescued my dish.


My gravy smelled too strongly of kerisik.

This morning at the office, I googled for other dalca recipes and sure enough, they had onions, garlic and ginger and curry powder. I am reproducing Betty Saw's recipe below and I have added (my own estimate) onions, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Will I repeat this dish? Oh yes, it was a good dish and I had always wanted to cook dalca. But of course my next attempt will be better when I add the missing ingredients :)











Kedah Beef Dalca (Dalca Daging Kedah)
Recipe from : Rasa Malaysia by Betty Saw (page 232)(Bahasa Malaysia Edition)
Note : Ingredients and notes in blue are what I think is inadvertently missing from the original recipe.

Ingredients :
- 300g beef with or without bones, cut into 2.5cm pieces
- Grated coconut from 1/2 coconut for kerisik
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 750ml thin santan
- 1 brinjal, cut diagonally into 2.5cm pieces
- 5 longbeans, cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and cut into halves
- 4 belimbing, cut into halves
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes and fried
- 2 tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Blended ingredients :
- 15 dried chillies, soaked
- 2 teaspoons corriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 0.6cm cinnamon stick
- 1 clove
- 1 star anise

Ingredients to saute :
- 2 big onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, pounded 
- 1 inch ginger, pounded
- 1 packet meat curry powder, mixed with a bot of water to form a paste.

Method :
- Marinate beef with kerisik and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pot and saute onions till it softens and turns translucent.
- Add garlic, ginger, curry paste and blended ingredients and fry until fragrant and oil rises to the top.
- Add beef and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add santan and bring to a boil until beef is tender.
- Add brinjals, longbeans, chillies, belimbing and potatoes.
- Simmer until vegetables are cooked.
- Add tomatoes and salt to taste.

More notes : 
1. It would be best to dry fry the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds for better aroma before blending.
2. The cinnamon stick, clove and star anise can be left whole.
3. For added flavours, fry some sliced onions until golden brown to garnish the dalca.



I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Kedah and Perlis Month hosted by WendyinKK of Table for 2.....or More.

34 comments:

  1. Oh no, that's sounds pretty aweful.
    I can't imagine dalca with no curry powder and no onions garlic.
    Sometimes local books are pretty questionable.
    Glad you went with ur instincts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy, I was really binggung yesterday! I thought maybe the Kedahans do it different. Hah! Hah! One taste, I knew it wasn't right. I will cook this dish again because it has good potential :)

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  2. I totally agree, as some cookbooks are not clear in their ingredients as well as the method to cook it too. I have one cookbook of making one kuih, the picture was of that kuih with greenish colour but the ingredients nothing that could make the kuih green.......blah!!!
    I never heard of Dalca before, but looking at your photos and you have made adjustment to the ingredients, I believe this dish would prove to be as delicious too. Wah, so many spices in...looks like a lot of hard work for me to cook leh.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, if you like curry then you must taste dalca. Very sedap lor! Can also be cooked using chicken bones, if you don't take beef.

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  3. It's good that you followed your instinct or should I say your experience? But the beef still looks appetizing from the photo.

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    Replies
    1. Alvin, experience is the best teacher eh? The dish was edible after the adjustments. I will cook this again :)

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  4. Girl, if the doubt is there, you shouldn't be the real murderer, hahaha! There is possibility that the book can have a printing error. I found a small error in Jamie Oliver's recipe that I tried b4. But that is an obvious mistake as the ingredients was listed but didn't mention when to put it which is different from your case! I'm not a curry expert, so can't comment much, haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, I had a similar experience with another cookbook from a famous local chef. After cooking, the dish turned out funny. I believe it was typo error or a mix up somewhere. So I ended up throwing away the whole pot of curry :( And this chef's recipe was later reprinted in small booklet form and THAT recipe was missing from the booklet. I think the chef found out about the error :)

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  5. Phong Hong,
    Your Dalca still looks great! But I know it will be even greater the next round you re-cook this.
    I am imagining your reaction while you are cooking this Dalca yesterday. Looking very adventurous ..LoL

    I ever tried out a kueh recipe from a local food magazine. I felt the amount of liquid is too much in the recipe but I still follow:p. true enough the kueh turn out to be wet and sticky nstead of firm and chewy. I found their email address so i email them to comment about the recipe . There is no response but in the following issue of their magazine there is a announcement about typo error..:p
    Mistake may occur hor..:D
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    mui..^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mui Mui, I was indeed in an adventurous mood :) After this experience, I feel a slight phobia about recipes especially dishes I have not cooked before. Hopefully this type of typo error and what not don't happen too often in cookbooks or magazines.

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  6. Good thing that you relied on your instinct. Recipes from cookbooks are questionable I do agree.

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    Replies
    1. Cheah, I guess we have to rely on our experience and cooking sense when we try out a new recipe.

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  7. Good thing you realised something's not quite right. I havent had dalca for a long long time, hmmm guess its time to try making my first dalca :)

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    Replies
    1. Esther, our cooking experience helps in these types of situations. And luckily it's a dish I was familiar with or else I would have concluded that dalca is a funny tasting dish :)

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  8. I have not had dalca before, sound like a combo of between Indian curry and beef rendang. I guess after we have more cooking experiences , we know a recipe whether workable or not.

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    Replies
    1. Sonia, next time you go to Indian restaurant you should try some dalca. It is really delicious. You are right, our cooking experience helps a lot.

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  9. Good Lord!!! This is soooo beautiful!!! Wish I could taste that... Slurpsss!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Arthur! If you had tasted it before I made the adjustments, you would have gone bleahhhh!!!!!

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  10. Looks very tempting n sounds yummy!!!!

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  11. I'm glad you salvaged this recipe!! It sounds like it needed a flavor boost :)

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    Replies
    1. Lizzy, it was like an ER rescue! I managed to make it edible :)

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  12. I dun think I ever try dalca before, looks delicious. Phong Hong, luckily you are experience enough to follow your instinct, if is me sure ruin the dish lol.

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    Replies
    1. Jess, it was my first time experience cooking dalca and luckily I have eaten this dish before and I knew what it should taste like :)

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  13. The editors for the cook book are not doing their jobs! Glad you managed to rescue the dish and it looks so delicious too!
    Btw, made your mee Kedah, posting it up tomorrow :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scary huh, Mich? Makes me look at cookbooks a little differently now. Oh, looking forwards to your Mee Kedah post!

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, Luckily you are a good cook and knew that something is amiss! You did well in the end, looks very good! Cannot imagine any curry without ginger, garlic and onions! Well done!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joyce! I've eaten dalca before and that's how I knew it wasn't quiet right, or else I would be thinking dalca is not a nice dish :)

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  15. havent heard of dalca before but the word sounds like acar! hehe! oh boy, i hvnt come across any incomplete recipes yet..or maybe there is and never realised especially dishes that are totally unheard of. Good that you realised something is wrong somewhere and went and did your emergency plan!!

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    Replies
    1. Lena, you must try dalca. It is very tasty. It is always available at Indian curry shop. Some are cooked with mutton bones or chicken.

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  16. Hi Phong..
    it's look so delicious... this is my favourite when having any flavoured rice..

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you, would be really nice with nasi biryani or nasi minyak. Sure tambah nasi!

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  17. Hi Phong Hong, Your dalca sure look very appetizing. Love the gravy, nice to go with roti canai or naan bread.

    Have a lovely day ahead.

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    Replies
    1. Amelia, you are right! I would love it with toast too :)

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