chopped fresh red or green chillies OR chilli flakes
Boil the water with spices and aromatics
Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
While waiting, rinse the rice, drain and set aside.
Chop up the onion, garlic and ginger fairly finely. You can do it by hand or place everything into a chopper. Tip the whole lot into the water as it is heating up.
Bruise the end of the lemongrass, by hitting down hard on it with the back of a knife. Add it to the water.
Tie all the pandan leaves up with a knot in the middle. Drop them in the water.
Add all the whole spices to the water. So that'll be 1 small cinnamon stick, 1 small star anise, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. Leave the water to come to a boil.
Place the dried shrimp in a chopper and chop to a fine floss like state. Set aside.
When the water is boiling
Tip in the rinsed rice and whatever meat you are using. Bring back to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and add all the ground spices. So that's 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir to mix.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is all cooked and breaking up slightly. Add a little more water if it's getting too thick, but don't forget, we still have 1 cup of coconut milk to be added in. You can cook it for longer if you like a more uniform porridge consistency. You will need more water, the longer you cook.
Stir in the coconut milk and ground dried shrimp, and bring back to a simmer, cooking for no more than a minute. Check seasoning, add more salt if you think it needs it.
Serve up, garnished with the fried shallots, fresh coriander leaves, spring onions and chilli slices.
Nutrition is based on using lean minced beef, 3% fat.