" Vegetables are the food of the earth, fruit seems more the food of the heavens." (Sepal Felicivant)

October 27, 2008

Rendang (Beef in Chili and Coconut Milk)

Rendang is an Indonesian beef stew dish with coconut milk and very complicated spices. I make it simpler and easier. Actually, this recipe below is adapted from my mother recipe. So that, my Rendang (I am sure) is different than Rendang from Padang (A city in West Sumatera- Indonesia where Minangkabau community come from, which has the origin of this recipe). Rendang (as I wrote before) usually serve with ketupat and other dishes in Hari Raya (Iedul Fitri Celebration Day). However, if you just eat it with warm cooked rice it would be very nice too.


1 kg beef, sliced into 10-15 chunk, in the same direction with its fiber
3 jeruk purut leaves
1 lemongrass, crushed
2 salam leaves
500 ml thick coconut milk from 4 coconuts
2 turmeric leaves (my mother used it, but I didn’t)
5 ml cooking oil (I replaced it with olive oil)

Ground Spices:

10 chilies, or as necessary (depend on you like hot or not)
4 cloves of garlic
7 shallots
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 pieces galangal root (2 cm per piece)
2 pieces ginger (2 cm per piece)
1 tablespoon salt, or as what you think necessary
1 teaspoon white sugar, or as what you think necessary
1 tablespoon palm sugar, or as what you think necessary


Grind all spices in Ground Spices above with stone mortar or processor
Set the heat in medium
Sauté the ground spices with cooking oil, add lemongrass, salam leaves, jeruk purut leaves, and turmeric leaves if you use it. Sauté them together until it is fragrant
Then, add the beef, sauté until the red color of beef turns into brown
Set the heat in low
Add the coconut milk, stir well
Boil about 1 hour or until the beef are mild enough or turn into dark brown color
Don’t forget to stir it well occasionally
If it runs dry meanwhile the beef are still hard to chew (use fork to make sure), you can just add the boiled water into it and do the same process again

Refrigerate it, if you want to keep this dish for any longer use for 1 week or more. When you need to serve a meal, you can simply warm it.

Related posting:

Ketupat (Cooked Rice in Woven Coconut Leaves Pouch)
Opor Ayam (Chicken in Coconut Gravy)
Sambal Goreng Hati (Beef Liver in Chilly and Coconut Milk)
Common Indonesian Herbs and Spices For Daily Cooking

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