Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang holds the top 1 spot in CNN’s 2011 World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods‘, it is a spicy meat dish that originated in Indonesia. It was created by the Minang’s (people from the Minangkabau ethnic group in Indonesia) as a dish served during ceremonial occasions and to honour special guests. It proved to be good thus its popularity spread over the region like in Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines.   In the Philippines this is common in the Muslim Maranao people of Mindanao, usually called Randang, this Filipino version uses a native spice mix called palapa as well as the addition of muscovado sugar.

The cooking method and ingredients of rendang is quite complicated, any meat can be used but the most common ones are beef and chicken. The dish contains a lot of spices like garlic, shallot, chillies, ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemon grass to name some, these spices also serve as a natural organic preservative that’s why this dish can last for four weeks with no refrigeration. Rendang also takes a lot of time to cook and the really good ones usually four hours to prepare as meat are slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices until the liquid dries out, this process makes the sauce caramelize and the meat to absorb all of the spices and become really tender. This cooking method is the one responsible making the flavours complex and unique.

There are two types of rendang the Dried one which is also called the true rendang and the Wet Rendang or what is called Kalio. While both have nearly the same ingredients the cooking times is much different, dry rendang as I had said is prepared for four hours at least while Kalio can only consume one hour of your time.

I am lucky that I had tried these types of dishes when I lived in Malaysia and have lots of Malaysian and Indonesian friends that can prepare this for me; it certainly enhanced my culinary experience and develops appreciation for very complex tastes and textures. Now for those who haven’t tried this give it a shot and see why it was placed on the number one spot

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Beef Rendang 3

Beef Rendang

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 17 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indonesian


Beef Rendang holds the top 1 spot in CNN’s 2011 World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’, it is a spicy meat dish that originated in Indonesia. It was created by the Minang’s (people from the Minangkabau ethnic group in Indonesia) as a dish served during ceremonial occasions and to honour special guests.


Units Scale
  • 1 kg stewing beef, cubed
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 6 pcs red chillies, chopped
  • 2 pcs onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 thumb size galangal, sliced
  • 1/2 thumb size ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 turmeric leaf, finely chopped
  • 6 pcs lime leaves, sliced
  • 4 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt


  1. In a blender pour the oil then add the chillies, onion, garlic, galangal, ginger and lemongrass, blend to a paste.  Set aside.
  2. In a pan add desiccated coconut and lightly dry toast over medium heat. Once toasted remove fom pan, let it cool then place in a food processor to grind.  Set it aside.
  3. In a heavy pot fry the spice paste, lime leaves and turmeric leaves over medium high heat. Stir continuously for 3 minutes or until very fragrant.
  4. Add the beef then continue to stir fry until beef is covered with the spices evenly for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the ground desiccated coconut, curry powder, coconut milk, soy sauce and beef stock. Bring to a boil and simmer in very low heat for 2 hrs or until sauce dries out and beef is tender. While cooking don’t forget to mix it regularly to prevent beef sticking in the bottom of the pan, also if water is not enough add several tablespoons to have some moisture.
  6. Season with salt, remove from heat then serve with freshly steamed rice.


For a really good rendang I suggest you consume this after two days so that the flavours continues to develop.


33 Responses

  1. nors says:

    Mukang masarap pre ha… Parang ginataang baka…

  2. IdaBaker says:

    This looks so good. I have to add some ingredients to my ever growing grocery list.

  3. Completely drooling. This is so tender and yummy looking. I did not realize there were 2 different kinds. so is the one you prepared dry Rendang type? I am book marking this one! Take Care, BAM

  4. anita triana says:

    This looks so delicious, thank you so much.

  5. This sounds wonderful. So flavorful.

  6. I have been on a real curry kick the last few months, planning to do a series on it this fall and beef rendang was one of the curry dishes on my list. I have a couple other recipes I was going to test and now I will add yours as well, it looks perfect. Great timing!

  7. Tessa says:

    I love beef rendang and it’s been so long since I made it! Your beef rendang looks so delicious!

  8. Just reading all of the ingredients and spices make me drool. Must be so flavorful. Thank for sharing the recipe and the info about this delicious dish.

  9. Villy says:

    Yum! You can tell it’s delicious just looking at the photo!

  10. Mary says:

    I’ve never heard of this before and it does sound delicious!

  11. I can almost smell the spices and wonderful aroma of the dish sitting here. Wow, this is my kind of food. Will have to try it soon.

  12. This looks so good! I have never tried anything like this, but I definitely want to!

  13. buttoni says:

    I’ve actually made a recipe of Rendang Pedang once before and really like it A LOT! I look forward to trying your recipe. Thanks!

  14. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness. Can’t wait to try this!

  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I remember this list from your past post and I also remember this name of dish from you. I haven’t tried this before and it sounds shame as it’s #1 dish!! First I’d like to try how authentic one tastes like…You are so lucky to have such nice culinary experience Raymund. No wonder you do so well in cooking many kinds of dishes!

  16. I love that you made this from scratch. It’s one of my favourite curries. Didn’t realize it was so popular!

  17. I’ve never heard of this. How could I not have? #1 in the world? Jeez, I must live under a rock. Anyway, super recipe – I’ll need to try this to find out what I’ve been missing. Thanks.

  18. Your rendang looks fantastic! Would love t come to your house for dinner 😀

  19. Nasifriet says:

    You seem to like and know Malaysian dishes. Well done, Raymund! Your plate of beef rendang looked gorgeous. YUM!

  20. tiedyedeb says:

    This looks delicious! I have a question, though: the ingredients list calls for “coconut cream,” while the directions say to add “coconut milk.” I can obtain either (we use a fair amount of coconut milk here) but they are different products where I live at least; coconut cream is very very sweet, while the coconut milk is just the coconut liquid with no other additives. Which one is used here? If I’m going to make this, I want to do it correctly! 🙂

  21. Hi Raymund, I have missed some great posts here on your blog. And rendang? YUM! Can you come over and cook at our house? We love this at our house – but I have never yet made this from scratch. I tried to make it before – but couldn’t find lime leaves here… 🙁

  22. Becky says:

    How big is pcs? Is 2 pcs onion the same as 2 onions?

  23. lovely, when i go to west sumatera, i can order only rice with 2 pcs of rendang, a glass of ice tea is enough 🙂

  24. Silao Koi says:

    galangal is called langkawas in ilonggo/kiniray.a… just use the lankawas rhizomes. you can also use the langkawas flowers as a vegetable when cooking with pork.. yum yum

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