Beef Rendang with Aromatic Rice

Rendang is a sort of Oriental meat curry dish originating in Indonesia. According to Wikipedia it was voted as one of the ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’ as polled by CNN (Now how did I get that off Wiki when today is the day they blacked it out?)

Redang is distinguishable by a) its combination of complex flavours and b) the long, slow cooking time which turns it from a liquid dish to an almost dry dish. The coconut caramelises to give it a sweet and hot taste. (I know this because I ended up eating it at about 1 am, it took so long to cook). This version is based on one from the BBC food site.


  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 red chillies
  • sunflower oil
  • cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1lb braising steak
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • zest of a lime
  • coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind
  • coriander to garnish

The redang is served with a herby, spicy rice and deep-fried shallots.


Create a paste by whizzing the onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and chillies.

Now fry the paste until it goes a darker colour then add the cardomom and cinnamon stick.

Add the beef and fry until browned.

Add the coconut milk, tamarind, lime leaves and lime zest.

Simmer for a couple of hours. You need to keep stirring it to stop it sticking and watch as the sauce thickens up and darkens.

While the stew is simmering away prepare the rice. This method is the best I’ve tried so its almost an exact copy of the original.

  1. Wash the rice under cold water, the water will run clear when it is washed enough. Allow to drip dry. Heat the oil in heavy-based saucepan that has a tight fitting lid.
  2. Add the spices (more cardomom and a cinnamon stick) and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the rice and fry until the grains begin to turn opaque.
  4. Add the water and salt.
  5. Bring to the boil then allow to bubble away until nearly all the water has been absorbed and air holes appear.
  6. Put the lid on. Leave the heat on for a minute then allow to stand for five minutes (do not remove the lid).
  7. Stir in some chopped up coriander.

Deep fry some shallots and a red chilli.

Serve it up with a sprinkling of coriander!

17 thoughts on “Beef Rendang with Aromatic Rice

  1. I love the deep fried shallots and chili. The rice stack is pretty extreme. I approve the dedication to your art, staying up until the wee small hours to get it just right.

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