Beef rendang

Meltingly tender beef mixes with aromatic spices and fiery chilli in a classic Asian dish
By Atul Kochhar
Beef rendang
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 3 large finely diced shallots
  • 1 stem of lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp paste of red chilli, shop bought
  • 11/2 tsp muscovado sugar
  • 5 cm ginger, finely shredded
  • 11/2 tsp turmeric
  • 650 g stewing steak, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 11/2 tbsp desiccated coconut, roasted
  • Steamed rice, to serve


1. Put the shallots, lemongrass and garlic in a food processor. Add a splash of water and blend until smooth.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy casserole pan and fry the shallot mixture and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until you catch a fragrant toasted garlic and lemony aroma. Stir in the chilli paste and sugar and continue frying for another 5 minutes until the mixture darkens and the oil separates from the spicy paste. Tip in the beef and cook until lightly browned, stirring all the time.

3. Add the ginger, turmeric, lime leaves, and enough water to half-cover the meat. Cook, uncovered, until the meat browns and the masala clings to the meat.

4. Pour over the coconut milk and about 200ml water. Simmer, partially covered, for about an hour until the beef is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. You might need to add extra water if the meat looks like it will catch on the bottom of the pan.

5. Heat a small sturdy frying pan over a low heat and toast the desiccated coconut, stirring all the time, until golden. Mix the coconut with the rendang and serve with steamed rice.

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