Indonesian beef rendang

This Indonesian classic is delicious and with a little preparation, done in no time. You can even make the Rendang a day or two up front to let the flavours really develop. Serve with rice, coriander and crispy fried onions.


  • 1-2 bird eye chillies, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, outer layer peeled
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled (see how to easily peel ginger HERE)
  • 2 cm piece galangal, peeled using ginger method
  • 2 cm piece fresh turmeric
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled


  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tsp tamarind paste
  • 4-5 lime leaves, bruised
  • 400 ml good quality coconut milk
  • 100-200 ml water
  • 400g good quality beef
  • 5 potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all base ingredients to a smooth paste in a food processor.
  2. Dry fry the spice rub until fragrant.
  3. In a pestle and mortar, grind the spices and rub over the meat.
  4. Add the base paste and mix well. Let the beef marinade for a few hours or as long as you can be bothered to wait
  5. In a pan, mix the coconut milk, water, soy, tamarind, and lime leaves and let simmer for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Add in the beef and the potatoes and simmer for 2 hours. Alternatively, when you have time transfer to slow cooker and cook for 3 hours or when in a rush, transfer to pressure cooker and cook for 1 hour (stir every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn).
  7. Serve with coriander, spring onion and crispy fried onions.

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