Indonesian Beef Rendang Iconic Recipe

This traditional Indonesian dish features cubes of beef cooked in a delicious coconut curry.


  • 5 medium shallots, chopped (about 1¼ cups)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.)
  • 1 2-in. piece fresh or frozen-and-thawed galangal, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 2-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 ½-in. piece fresh or frozen-and-thawed turmeric, peeled and finely chopped (about 1½ tsp.)
  • 3 candlenuts, toasted and ground (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. well-marbled boneless beef chuck, cut into 1½-in. pieces
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass
  • 12 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 6 makrut lime leaves
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • Banana leaves, for serving (optional)
  • 4-6 cups steamed, long-grain white rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Using a large mortar and pestle, grind together the first 7 ingredients, plus a pinch of salt, to yield a mostly smooth paste. In a large bowl, toss the paste with the beef, and set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, using the dull side of a cleaver or a large chef’s knife, bruise the lemongrass to soften; tie each stalk into a knot.
  3. In a wok or large pot over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a simmer, then add the meat and marinade, the lemongrass knots, and the lime and curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces to a thick sauce and the beef begins to sizzle and fry, about 1½ hours. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the meat browns, about 30 minutes more. Remove the lime and curry leaves, and lemongrass just before serving, at room temperature, atop banana leaves with steamed white rice on the side, if desired.

Indonesian Beef Rendang Iconic Recipe 5 of 5

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