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Recipe for Spicy Beef Rendang

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Spicy Beef Rendang is a flavorful Indonesian dish that features tender beef simmered in a rich, spicy coconut milk sauce. Here's a recipe for you:


For the Beef and Marinade:

  • 2 lbs (900 g) beef chuck or stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Spice Paste:

  • 10-12 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until soft
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, peeled
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For the Rendang:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2 turmeric leaves, tied into a knot (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste


Marinating the Beef:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef cubes, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well to coat the beef evenly. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Making the Spice Paste:

  1. Drain the soaked chilies and place them in a blender or food processor. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Blend until smooth, adding a little water if necessary to facilitate blending.

Cooking the Rendang:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the spice paste and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the paste is fragrant and the oil begins to separate from the paste.
  2. Add the marinated beef to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring to coat the beef with the spice paste.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and water, and add the kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves (if using), cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened and darkened, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary to prevent drying out.
  5. Stir in the tamarind paste and palm sugar, and season with salt to taste. Continue to simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes until the flavors meld together and the sauce is rich and thick.


  1. Serve the beef rendang with steamed rice and garnish with additional kaffir lime leaves if desired.

Enjoy your delicious Spicy Beef Rendang!