Sumatran Beef Rendang

A rich, dry and succulent curry originating from Indonesia, this is a traditional recipe which I learnt to cook from my mother Mama Eti.


1 - Put the paste ingredients into a blender and blend into a paste. You may need to add a bit of water to help it along.

2 - Gently fry the paste in 1 tbsp vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes

3 - Add the coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves and cardamom pods and bring to a boil

4 - Cut the beef into 2cm cubes and add to the pan

5 - Simmer uncovered stirring regularly until the coconut milk has almost absorbed and the sauce darkens.

6 - Add 1-2 tsp palm sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes

7 - Season to taste and serve with steamed rice


Cooking Spices

Kaffir Lime Leaves 5 pcs
Cardamom Pods 2 pcs
Lemon Grass 2 stalks


Shin/Braising Steak 800g
Coconut Milk 800ml


Thai Shallots 60g
Ground Clove 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli 125g
Ground Nutmeg 1/2 tsp
Tamarind Water 1 tbsp
Ground Fennel 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Candlenut/Macadamia Nut 3 pcs
Fresh Galangal 1/2 inch
Ground Coriander 1 tsp
Ground Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Fresh Ginger 1 inch
Ground Cumin 1 tsp
Garlic 40g

Hints 'n' Tips

Make sure you use a heavy wide based pan to allow the coconut milk to evaporate at a fast rate. If the pan is too narrow you will end up stewing the meat and it will break up. You want to end up with firm succulent pieces of meat which absorb all the moisture from the coconut milk.

If you want to be truly authentic, roll up your sleeve and eat with your fingers off a banana leaf (can be found in any good specialist asian store) !!!! Remember to use the right hand, left is considered impolite :-)


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Wow, this recipe was fantastic - everyone loved it.

The paste smells amazing!
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