Sumatran Caramelised Beef Rendang

Following the post on Spicy Sumatran Ritual Food the other week, here is a recipe for   Sumatran Caramelised Beef Rendang. Be old school, get that mortar and pestle out!


Sumatran Caramelised Beef Rendang

serves 5


1 kg diced beef

1/2 cup toasted grated/dessicated coconut

1/2 T coriander seeds

1/2 T white pepper

1/2 T cumin seeds

1/2 whole nutmeg

3 cloves

3 kaffir lime leaves

3 eschalot

3 birds-eye chilli

1 stick of lemon grass

1 onion diced

1 thumb-size fresh turmeric, ginger & galangal

3 cloves of garlic

2 cans of coconut milk

1/2 cup hot water

2 T palm sugar/ brown sugar

1/2 cup tamarind paste

2 candelnuts (if unavailable at your asian store, use 5 macadamia nuts)

yellow coconut rice

1 cup of white rice to 1 cup of water and 1/2 coconut milk

1/2 thumb size of fresh tumeric    2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 t coriander seeds (crushed)


Soak the tamarind paste in the hot water until the colour is discharged and strain to make 1/2 cup liquid

Toast the coconut until golden brown

Toast all other dry ingredients in a pan until the fragrance is released

Put all dry ingredients (except the kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass, onion and meat) and 1 can of coconut milk in food processor/ grind them all in a mortar and pestle into a thick paste

In a large pot, saute the onion, kaffir lime leaf and lemon grass until golden. Add the paste and stir on medium heat until it releases fragrance. Add the meat, stir constantly. Add the other can of coconut milk and 1/2 of the tamarind liquid. Bring to the boil then turn it down and let simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Taste and season with salt. Cook until the meat is tender and has caramelized.


yellow coconut rice

Make a paste using either food processor or mortar and pestle with the coriander seeds, garlic, turmeric.

Put the rice, water, coconut milk, and paste in a pot. Bring to the boil then let simmer, take off the heat and let sit for 5 mins. Serve hot.



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