Beef Rendang

2009 September 2
by linda

I am dedicating this recipe to those Indonesians who live overseas and have limited access to fresh native ingredients such as coconut. I used to cook Beef Rendang using those ready mixed sauce comes in a sachet. Trust me, once you tried this recipe, you will never go back to those crap ready store bought sauces.

When my mom came to Australia 6 years ago, she taught me how to cook a decent Rendang that tastes like home. She was thinking really hard to make the colour the same, and finally she remembered how my grandma use to cook her Rendang. My grandma fry (using no oil) the fresh grated coconut until they reached brownish colour, and then blend them in the food processor, which later added so that the Beef Rendang has lots of thicken sauce. So what my mother did was straining the juices and left out the desiccated coconut because they are too dried unlike the fresh one.

This Rendang recipe could also be used with other meat such as pork and chicken, but just keep in mind that they only need less time compare to the beef to be tender, so only a little amount of water need to be added, just enough for them to be tender.

Beef Rendang


  • 1.5 kg of gravy beef, cut into your preferences of size (about 2 cm in thickness)
  • 1 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 1.5 cup of hot water
  • 8 big red chillies, pureed
  • 4 small big chilies, pureed
  • 6 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 6 cloves shallot, pureed
  • 1 tbsp/3 cm ginger, pureed
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (pureed the soft part and tied in knot the long and hard part)
  • 5 pcs of candle nut, pureed
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 5 kaffir bay leaves
  • 5 pcs of galangal (the size and thickness of 20 cents coin)
  • 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp of ground herbs (see note)
  • 400 ml of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp of salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp of sugar
  • oil for stir frying


  1. Using a pot or wok, fry the dessicated coconut (without using any oil). Keep stirring the coconut until the coconut has turned dark brown evenly.
  2. Pour hot water into the coconut and close the lid for about 5 minutes. Strain the juices.
  3. Heat generous amount of oil in a pot. Fry all the pureed ingredients, leaves, galangal, turmeric powder and ground herbs for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. Put in the gravy beef and stir for 2-3 minutes. Put sugar and salt.
  5. Pour in the strain dessicated coconut juice and cover the pot with lid. Cook for about 1-1.5 hours, until the meat is tender. If the water is run out and the meat is not yet tenderize. Pour in a little bit of hot water and cook again until the meat is ready.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and coconut cream and turn the stove to low heat. Stir it occasionally until the sauce is thicken.
  7. Serve with rice.


  1. The ground herbs is called bumbu daging in Indonesia. It usually consists of ground cloves, star anise, cardamon, nutmeg, and other indigenous Indonesian native herbs.

Preparation time (duration): 60

Culinary tradition: Indonesian

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 July 20
    dree permalink

    where do you buy bumbu daging and which brand do you use?

  2. 2012 August 12

    Rendang is one of the most popular dishes from Padang, West Sumatra. Padang is known by their delicious meals made from coconut milk. You can make it spicy or mild, depend how you like it. :)

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