Beef Rendang Curry

Rendang Daging Lembu


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings as part of a multi-dish meal

Appears in

Layered with spices, this classic Malaysian stew is slow-cooked until the sauce concentrates into an intense, complex paste that coats the tender beef chunks. It’s so dynamic in flavor that, to fully appreciate it, this curry needs to be tempered with calming forkfuls of rice between bites. I especially recommend coconut-scented rice, a classic part of Nasi Lemak.


  • ½ cup (½ oz/14 g.) Dried red chilies, remove stems and seeds
  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil
  • 5 medium Shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Finely grated galangal,
  • 5 stalks Lemongrass, trimmed and sliced very thin, about 1/16 inch (.1 cm.)
  • 4 Candlenuts or macadamia nuts, crushed
  • ½ tsp. Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp. Ground turmeric
  • 2 lb. (.9 kg.) Boneless beef chuck, -inch (3.8 cm.) pieces
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) Coconut milk
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 medium Lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup Toasted grated fresh coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Soak the chilies: Soak chilies in ½ cup room temperature water for 30 minutes; drain and squeeze out excess moisture.
  2. Make the spice paste (rempah): In blender, puree oil, shallots and garlic into a semi-smooth paste. Add galangal, lemongrass, candlenuts, peppercorns and turmeric; puree until smooth. Stop and scrape down often, and add a drizzle of water, only if necessary, to facilitate blending—be patient.
  3. Fry the rempah: Heat a 4 qt. (4 L.) saucepan or wok over medium heat. Add the spice paste (rempah) and fry until aromatic—at least five minutes The raw flavor and aroma of the shallots and garlic should subside.
  4. Cook the curry: Add beef and salt. Cook five more minutes on the same heat. Add the coconut milk and water; raise heat to high. Bring to boil, and then lower flame to a simmer. Stew gently, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until meat is tender and sauce is thick, about one and a half to two hours.
  5. Adjust seasoning: When meat is tender, and the sauce has a slightly oily sheen, season with lime juice and grated coconut. Cook for an additional one or two minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt to taste.