Serving 5 portion

  • 1 kg beef (knuckle or sirloin)
  • 600 ml coconut cream
  • 1 L coconut water or water
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 12 cloves chopped garlic
  • 300 g red chili (Serrano chili/pepper)
  • 250 g onions
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 1 cm galangal
  • 50 g ground turmeric, or 1cm of fresh turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 11/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, smashed and tied up
  • 3 pieces kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 piece tamarin fresh/ paste
  • 2 turmeric leaves, tied up


  • Cut the beef into 4 cm squares, thick. Do not cut the beef too small as the meat can break into smaller pieces during cooking.
  • Blend the candlenuts, cloves chopped garlic, red chili, onions, ginger, galangal, ground turmeric/ fresh turmeric, ground coriander, salt, sugar, green cardamom pods, cumin seeds, cloves. use a little bit of oil to make it into paste.
  • Remove the green section and the outer sheath of the lemongrass. Use only the white portion. Bash them so that the lemongrass ensures the release of the flavor.
  • Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok. Saute the spice paste over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut cream, coconut water/ water, turmeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves, tamarin, and lemongrass into the wok.
  • Add the beef and cook over medium heat. Bring the coconut milk to a boil.
  • Once it is boiled, continue simmer over low heat. Add water from time to time when the stew is about to dry.
  • Cook until the beef absorbs the flavor of the spices thoroughly and the color turns dark brown. It will take about 4 – 8 hours.
  • Served with rice or bread.


Since not everyone tolerates the same level of hotness of chili, please reduce the amount and remove the seeds of the chilies if you are not used to spicy food.

Dried beef rendang (Indonesian Minang Style)

According to Minangkabau (hence the name Minang rendang, Western Sumatra, Indonesia) tradition, their authentic beef rendang should be dry. Beef rendang is carefully stirred, simmered, and cooked for 8 hours until the coconut milk has totally evaporated and the meat has absorbed the flavor of the herbs and spices. Dried rendang can be stored at room temperature for three to four weeks.  It can even last up to six months if frozen.

Moist beef rendang (kalio)

Moist beef rendang is cooked much shorter (4 hours) than dry beef rendang.  The cooking process ends when the coconut milk becomes a thick gravy of the rendang.  Moist rendang is more popular in neighboring countries- Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and southern Thailand. One of the exceptions is rendang Tok found in the state of Perak, Malaysia, which is dry.  Most rendang served in the western countries is moist rendang, compared to its original Minang counterpart.