Beef Rendang

Serves 4

Rendang is a spicymeat dish, which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country. One of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honour guests.

Rendang is also served among the Malay community in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Philippines. Rendang is traditionally prepared by the Minangkabau community during festive occasions such as traditional ceremonies, wedding feasts and Hari Raya. Although culinary experts often describe rendang as a curry, rendang is usually not considered a curry in Indonesia since it is richer and contains less liquid than is normal for Indonesian curries.

The cooking technique flourished because of its role in preserving meat in a tropical climate. Prior to refrigeration technology, this style of cooking enabled preservation of the large amount of meat. Rendang is rich in spices. Along with the main meat ingredient, Rendang uses coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices, including ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chillis, and other spices. This spice mixture is called Pemasak in. The spices, garlic, shallot, ginger, and galangal used in Rendang have antimicrobial properties and serve as natural organic preservatives. If cooked properly, dry Rendang can last for as long as four weeks.


  • 120g Rempah
  • 1kg beef cheek or beef shin off the bone
  • 1 tablespoon Indonesian curry powder for red meat
  • 60g tamarind pulp or 1 tablespoon of tamarind essence
  • 600ml of boiling water
  • 100g Kerisik
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods ( I like to use black cardamom for this recipe)
  • 1 turmeric leaf
  • 800ml coconut milk
  • Sugar and salt to taste


  1. Mix the tamarind pulp with boiling water combine and allow softening for 30 minutes, strain through fine strainer pushing as much pulp through as possible into the tamarind water. Discard the seeds. 
  2. Make the Kerisik simply dry toast 100g desiccated coconut in a medium frypan, tossing regularly until it develops a deep golden brown colour. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or food processor and process to a fine paste.
  3. Place all ingredients into a pressure cooker accept the Kerisik cook for 1.5 hours.
  4. Remove all ingredients from the pressure cooker and transfer to a suitable pot.
  5. Add the kerisik and simmer reducing the sauce until the rendang develops into a dark brown colour with most of the liquid evaporated and beef tender. This should take a further 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Remove whole spices and adjust seasoning to your liking with salt, sugar and tamarind water.


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Perfect ! Thanks for the great recipes !