Rendang is a spicy meat dish which is said to be originated in Indonesia, a dish which is served during festive times and special occasions. Malaysians have a similar version which is less spicy.

The cooking technique of this dish is done in such a way to preserve the meat for a longer time with lots of spices. Lemon grass, lime leaves and fresh turmeric give this dish a unique flavour which differentiates it from any other curry preparations.

Any red meat or poultry can be used for this dish. Here I’ve used a passel and motor to ground the ingredients,  but to make it simpler you can use a blender.

This recipe can be used for barbequing too. For barbequing, marinate the meat with all the ingredients for 4 hours or longer in the refrigerator.

Preparation time : 20 mts

Cooking time : 40 mts

Serves : 4

Ingredients for pounding / blending :

  • 2 medium size onions cubed or 1/2 cup small shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1″ ginger
  • 2″ galangal (you can replace galangal with 1/2′ ginger)
  • 1″ fresh turmeric ( you can replace it with turmeric powder, for authentic taste and flavour of a rending fresh turmeric is essential. So I recommend using the fresh ones itself 🙂
  • 2 lemon grass (only the inner and bottom part, chopped)
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  • 5 candlenuts  (here I’ve used 7 almonds)
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  • 10 dry red chili (soaked in water for at least 10 mts. Here I’ve deseeded the chillies since I’m not adding any sugar to the dish to balance the heat. The recipe calls for a teaspoon of sugar.

Other ingredients :

  • 500 g of beef ( beef used for stewing is good for this dish)
  • 1″ cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 7 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
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  • 1 tsp coriander powder (or coriander seeds 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 5 lime leaves  (devein and cut into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup roasted fresh coconut
  • 3 table spoon coconut oil  (or you can use any non- flavoured oil)

Method :

  • Soak the dry chillies in 1/2 cup of water.
  • Pound all the ingredients for pounding in a passel and mortar as well as you can.
  • If you’re using fresh coconut keep a flat pan on fire and roast the coconut in medium heat and keep it aside.
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  • Place a well seasoned heavy bottom pan / wok / kadai on fire and oil to it. When the oil is heated add whole dry spices , cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fennel seeds.
  • Allow the spices to splutter.
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  • Add in the pounded spices and cook in low heat till oil starts to separate from the ingredients. Cook in medium-low fire.Stir in between.
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  • Once the fresh spices are cooked and oil separated like the below picture add coriander and cumin powder. Mix it well till the raw smell of the spices are gone. It’ll take 30 seconds or less.
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  • Add coconut milk to 1/2 cup of water along with the lime leaves. Mix well.
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  • Add in the washed and cleaned meat piece as well.
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  • Cover and cook it for 10 mts.
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  • Cook it for another 10 mts in medium fire uncovered till almost all the water evaporates and the oil separates again. Remember to stir the beef in between.
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  • Add the roasted coconut and mix again. You’re beef rendang is ready.
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  • If you’re looking for the caramelized version, add 1 table spoon of brown sugar at the last stage and cook for a minute.
  • This dish is best served after an hour with steamed rice.