Beef Rendang / Beef Stew (Coconut & Spices)

This is a very popular stew in South East Asia with origins from the Minangkabau people of Indonesia. Many countries in S.E.Asia will however, lay claim to this dish being created from their cultural diverse cuisines.

It is a comfort food to many and there are very many ways of cooking it. The dish prepared by the Malays are different. Instead of kaffir lime leaves, they use the fresh leaves from the turmeric plant, which is available usually during the Ramadan or Haji festivities.

I’ve used the pressure cooker in this recipe although you can cook it the usual way that you prepare a stew, a long cook.

Ingredients: serves 3-4

500g stewing beef, cut into 2″ cubes

For marinade :

8 red chillies (you can increase or decrease the amount used depending on personal taste), deseeded and cut into chunks

2 teaspoon tamarind soaked in 3 tablespoon water or 3 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice

2 stalks lemon grass, white parts only, chopped finely

1″ ginger root

2″ galangal root (optional depending on availability)

3 cloves garlic

3 shallots, peeled and sliced coarsely

1 tablespoon sugar

For stewing :

400 ml coconut milk

200 ml water

3 stalks lemon grass

6 tablespoon shredded coconut, toasted

2 tablespoon ground almond

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (or demerara sugar)

3 kaffir lime leaves, centre spine removed, sliced thinly


  • Place all ingredients for the marinade in a food processor. Process until it is all ground up into as smooth a paste as possible.
  • Marinade the beef cubes (in the marinade) overnight or for at least an hour before cooking.
  • Place ingredients for stewing and the beef (including all the marinade) into the pressure cooker.
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes when the pressure cooker starts to ‘whistle’ OR you can stew it on the stove for about an hour or until the beef is tender.
  • Served with white rice.

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