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Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

Brought to you by: Malaysia Kitchen

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 4

Beef Rendang is a highly aromatic and flavoursome curry dish that is eaten on special occasions in Malaysia. The longer you cook a rendang for, the better the flavours fuse together to create a truly memorable dish. Making a rendang two days in advance and refrigerating develops the flavour even more. 
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  • 3 lemongrass stalks , for paste, or 2 tsp lemongrass puree, 2 for paste, 1 for curry
  • 4 tsp ginger puree , for paste
  • 3 fresh chillies , for paste
  • 1 brown onion , quartered, for paste
  • 2 garlic cloves , for paste
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 500g beef , cubed
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 lime leaves
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketjap manis
  • 300g long grain rice


Step 1

Start by making your spice paste. Add all the spice paste ingredients into a blender and with a dash of oil and blend until it turns into paste.

Step 2

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the spice paste, cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon stick and gently fry for about 5 minutes. This releases all the flavours from the spices.

Step 3

Add the beef, tamarind, and lemon grass, lime leaves. Fry together until the beef turns brown then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat to its lowest, cover the pan and leave to simmer for at least 2 hours. Check every now and then to make sure there is still liquid in there and it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If there is not enough liquid you can add a bit of water.

Step 4

After 2 hours, take the lid off the pan and leave to simmer for another 15 minutes. This is meant to be a dry dish so this will let the liquid evaporate a bit. When the beef is tender and falling apart it is ready.

Step 5

Dry fry the coconut in a pan until it turns brown and smells fantastic. Dry fry simply means you don’t add any oil or fat. Just keep stirring or tossing it until it turns brown.

Step 6

Add the toasted coconut, sugar and soy sauce to the cooked beef and stir well.

Step 7

Serve this dish with plain steamed rice. The flavours are so rich it does not need anything else to go with it.

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