Malaysian Coconut Beef Rendang

    2 hours

    A delicious rendang (sometimes mistakenly called a curry) from Indonesia. Beef is slow cooked in coconut milk. Serve with white rice.

    124 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 2 cups shredded (or dessicated) coconut
    • 100g shallots, roughly chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 15 dried red chillies, roughly chopped
    • 5 slices fresh ginger root, roughly chopped
    • 5 lemongrass stalks, whites only, roughly chopped
    • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 625g beef stew meat, cut into 2.5cm cubes
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 5 whole cloves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 2/3 cups (420ml) coconut milk
    • 220ml water
    • salt to taste

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:1hour30min  ›  Ready in:2hours 

    1. Heat the coconut in a dry wok, stirring continuously until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
    2. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, chillies, ginger and lemon grass to a thick paste.
    3. Grind the coriander, fennel, cumin and nutmeg together in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
    4. Using the wok, fry the shallot paste in a little oil for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the ground spices and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add beef and cook over a medium heat for a further 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until meat is browned all over.
    5. Stir in sugar, coconut, cloves, cinnamon stick, coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt.

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    Reviews in English (47)


    Flavour is terrific but coconut is very gritty. Should I cook for longer or is this the way it should be.  -  30 Apr 2018


    I am originally from Brunei, which is close to Malaysia. The recipe is missing tumeric powder; it is a special occasion dish, which tastes better by the 2nd or 3rd day. Also, blanched almonds with the shredded coconuts helps with buildling the sauce. A tip on making Beef Rendang is to use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices, if you could find one. It takes longer to use mortar & pestle, but you can taste the difference when you use a food processor. Also, palm sugar is preferred to white sugar. Otherwise, the recipe is quite authentic.  -  06 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This a great Rendang recipe. Very very easy to use. Don't skimp on the lemon grass as that is where the zing comes from. I omitted the nutmeg as I did not have any. Another trick is to make it in a pot and close the lid to let the meat tenderise for about 30 mins and then start evaporating the liquid. Perfection!  -  10 Nov 2004  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)