Western Sumatra Caramelized Beef Curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Flavors of Indonesia

By William Wongso

Published 2016

  • About

Rendang is the culinary pride that often wowed many a world class culinary observer. This caramelized beef curry is known in Indonesia as Rendang Padang. You can create three different dishes with one recipe by varying the cooking time. The first stage is kare (beef curry), cook a bit longer then it became kalio (brown curry), and when it reached the caramelized phase, you get rendang.


  • 500 gr beef rump, cut into 2 inch cubes, about 50 gr each
  • 1 pc turmeric leaf or 2 bay leaves
  • 15 gr tamarind paste
  • 750 ml coconut cream 24% fat
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 4 sheets kaffir lime leaves or regular lime leaves

Spices Paste

  • 120 gr shallot (about 20-24 cloves), roughly chopped
  • 20 gr garlic (about 4 cloves), roughly chopped
  • 125 gr large red chillis, de-seeded, roughly chopped
  • 10 gr ginger, roughly chopped
  • 30 gr galangal, roughly chopped
  • 20 gr candlenut, ground



  1. Grind all the spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and tamarind.
  2. Add coconut cream. Sauté until the oil from coconut milk starts to separate out and color turn brownish. Add the cubed beef.
  3. Set oven to 120° C. Put all ingredients in a stock pot without lid in the oven. Slow cook beef for 1 ½ - 2 hours to make sure beef almost tender.
  4. Transfer beef and coconut spices to a wok. Slow cook over medium heat while stirring until the meat changes color into dark brown, caramelized, and tender.

Tournedos Nusantara


This is a way to modernize rendang as part of a fine dining menu. Beef tournedos are grilled and bathed in a rendang sauce instead of using gravy. Serve with Nasi Tumpeng (yellow cone rice, one of Indonesian culinary symbols) and Indonesian condiments, such as caramelized crispy potato and Balinese spiced vegetable with coconut milk sauce. Use leftover rendang paste by simmering with brown stock, and then strain to make rendang sauce.