Beef Rendang

My first experience with rendang was during my melbourne uni days.  You couldn’t beat 3 dishes and rice for $6.50 at Noraisa’s kitchen on swanston st. I didnt actually know what i was eating at the time, except for the fact it was meat and it was delicious!

Rendang seems like a scary thing to make. But with this recipe, you will be making delicious rendangs!

You will need:

1 kg chuck beef – chopped into large cubes

1.5 Tablespoon Ginger* -minced

1.5 Tablespoon Galangal*- minced

1 cup grated onions

4 large garlic cloves (minced)

Approx 1.5 Tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass*

1 cup dessicated coconut

3 birdseye chillis* (more or less to taste)

0.5-0.75 cup coconut milk

3 kaffir lime leaves*. finely chopped. approx 1 tablespoon

1.5 Tablespoons malaysian meat curry powder. Baba brand is nice

2 Tablespoons sweet soy sauce- kecap manis.

Few tablespoons of oil for frying


*optional  ingredients, but impart a beautiful flavour to the dish.


Heat some oil in your cooking pot. Add onions, garlic, ginger, galangal, chilli and fry off on medium heat until fragrant and onions become very lightly golden.

Add curry powder and mix for a few seconds until fragrant.

Add lemon grass, lime leaf, meat and mix for a few minutes or you can skip this step. I just like to fry it off a little until the meat picks up a bit of colour.

Cover with water.

Meanwhile toast the dessicated coconut in a seperate pan for a few minutes. Mixing reglarly. It only takes a few seconds for the coconut to start browning. So do not leave the stove. You want it to achieve a golden toffee colour.

Once done add to the cooking pot.

Cover and allow to cook on gentle heat for about 1.5 hours(this will depend on cut of meat and desired tenderness, the following step should be done at about 30 mins away from doneness as a guide).  Check regularly if more water is needed.

Remove the lid, add the soy sauce, salt and coconut milk. Reduce until it reaches a point where you are almost stirfrying (ie have almost no water in the pot). Stir for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant. Adjust seasoning. Once done add more water and allow to cook for final time. Then reduce the gravy to desired consistency. It should not be too dry or too watery.


2 thoughts on “Beef Rendang

    • wa alaykum assalam, it is sold at almost all indian/asian groceries. I know it is sold at pascoe vale rd supermarket on pascoe vale rd glenroy as well as the spice shop in brunswick next to where Bismi restaurant used to be.

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