Monday, January 3, 2011


Rendang is a traditional Indonesian dry curry made with beef. I made some tonight, and thought I'd share the recipe. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures... I'm bummed, because if I'm reading a recipe, I prefer to see pictures of what I'm about to make... I posted a picture that I found on so you could have an idea of what it is supposed to look like. I did not use their recipe.

There are many different ways to make rendang, but this is the way I was taught. Here is the recipe that I use:

*4 pounds of beef, cut into 2 inch cubes, sprinkled with salt & pepper.
(I sear these off in hot oil, and then set aside).

The following ingredients should be blended in a food processor until they become a paste:

*5 shallots
*5 cloves of garlic
*3 lime leaves (large) or 5 small leaves
*1 teaspoon terasi (shrimp balacan)
*2 tablespoons coriander
*1/2 teaspoon tumeric
*2 teaspoon dried galangal (lengkuas). Fresh is better, but it's hard to find in the US.
*5 candlenuts (kemiri)
*red chillies (as many or as little as you want- I used 5, and it wasn't too hot).

Heat a large pot with about 1/4 cup oil. On medium heat, stir in the paste mixture until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the cubes of beef and mix well.

Add one stalk of lemon grass that has been beaten and tied into a knot.

Add a 1 cup water and 3 cans coconut milk/cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and allow to simmer for about 3-5 hours (sauce will start to thicken up, and meat will become tender).

While meat is simmering, toast grated coconut in the oven or on the stove (do NOT use grated coconut that is found in the baking aisle- these coconuts usually have sugar on them... You want to use unsweetened coconut. I usually find it in the frozen section at the Asian Store. You can also find it in the health food sections of some grocery stores).

Toast the coconut until it is medium brown (not white anymore). You will want at least one cup of toasted coconut.

Using a mortar and pestle (ulek), grind the coconut until it turns into the consistency of peanut butter. This will take a looonnnnnnggggg time... about 1 hour of grinding... It is so worth it though! I think this is what makes the recipe.

After the toasted coconut is done, add it to the beef/coconut milk mixture and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened up.

Taste to see if the meat is salty enough. You can add more salt if you need to.

Serve with rice and enjoy :)

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