Rendang (Beef in Chili and Coconut Milk)

Rendang is an Indonesian beef stew dish with coconut milk and very complicated spices. I make it simpler and easier. Actually, this recipe below is adapted from my mother recipe. So that, my Rendang (I am sure) is different than Rendang from Padang (A city in West Sumatera- Indonesia where Minangkabau community come from, which has the origin of this recipe). Rendang usually serve with ketupat and other dishes in Hari Raya (Iedul Fitri Celebration Day). However, if you just enjoy it with warm cooked rice it would be very nice too.


1 kg beef, sliced into 10-15 chunk, in the same direction with its fiber

3 jeruk purut leaves 1 lemon grass, crushed

2 salam leaves

500 ml thick coconut milk from 4 coconuts

2 turmeric leaves (my mother used it, but I didn't)

5 ml cooking oil (I replaced it with olive oil)

Ground Spices:

10 chilies, or as necessary (depend on you like hot or not)

4 cloves of garlic

7 shallots

teaspoon turmeric powder

2 pieces galangal root (2 cm per piece)

2 pieces ginger (2 cm per piece)

1 tablespoon salt, or as what you think necessary

1 teaspoon white sugar, or as what you think necessary

1 tablespoon palm sugar, or as what you think necessary


Grind all spices in Ground Spices above with stone mortar or processor

Set the heat in medium. Sauté the ground spices with cooking oil, add lemongrass, salam leaves, jeruk purut leaves, and turmeric leaves if you use it. Sauté them together until it is fragrant.

Then, add the beef, sauté until the red color of beef turns into brown.

Set the heat in low.

Add the coconut milk, stir well. Boil about 1 hour or until the beef are mild enough or turn into dark brown color.

Don't forget to stir it occasionally If it runs dry meanwhile the beef are still hard to chew (use fork to make sure), you can just add the boiled water into it and do the same process again.

Ready to serve.

Refrigerate it, if you want to keep this dish for any longer use for 1 week or more. When you need to serve a meal, you can simply warm it.

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