Rick’s Malaysian Beef Rendang Recipe

One Christmas I got Rick Stein’s Far eastern Odyssey cookbook and dvd. When I saw the rendang I thought it looked amazing. I like this Malaysian version as the curry is much wetter and I love sauce. The beef just melts in your mouth and the heat and spice in the curry is just right. I toned down the amount of chilli in our ours as I know Rick likes his hot hot and I like mine with warmth but not burnt mouth hot. Once you try this it will be a firm favourite.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Rendang Paste

  • 100g grated fresh coconut (can use desiccated)
  • 4 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 225g shallots or onions, roughly chopped
  • 30g garlic, roughly chopped
  • 50g peeled galangal or ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 large fresh red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped

For the Curry

  • Glug of oil. I used rapeseed
  • 1kg of braising steak chunks
  • 1 quantity of rendang spice paste – as above
  • 2 tins of coconut milk
  • 4 fat lemon grass stalks – bruised – (just bash them lightly)
  • 12 dried kaffir lime leaves – crumbled
  • 2 x 7.5cm cinnamon sticks
  • 125ml Tamarind water – all you do is soak the 60g of pulp in 125ml of hot water and leave for 5 minutes.  Break up the pulp with your fingers and then strain the syrupy mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the fibrous material and seeds.
  •  1 tbsp of palm sugar or you can use brown sugar, palm sugar will taste better in this dish.


For the paste

  1. Heat a dry, heavy based, frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the coconut and stir for a few minutes until it is richly golden – don’t let it burn.
  2. Tip into a food processor and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, put the dried Kashmiri chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Add this to the processor with the cooled coconut add the rest of the spice paste ingredients and 100ml of water.  Blend to a smooth-ish paste.

For the curry

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan.  Add the beef in batches and fry briefly until it has changed colour but not browned, set aside in a bowl.  Add the spice paste to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Return the beef and add the coconut milk, lemon grass, lime leaves and cinnamon sticks and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, add the tamarind water and leave to simmer, uncovered for 2 and a half hours, stirring occasionally, and more frequently towards the end of cooking, until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  3. Remove the lemongrass from the rendang and stir in the palm sugar and season to taste.
  4. Serve straight away with some wild rice, cooked to packet instructions. Enjoy.


10 Comments Add yours

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  6. Norma Bellamy says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe.


    1. Norma you are welcome 😊


  7. One of my favorite dishes – I love Rendang!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it is so yummy 😋


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