Beef rendang & turmeric rice

Beef rendang & turmeric rice


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2kg beef
  •  shin or skirt, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bashed (see 'Tip' for how to prepare)
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1½ tbsp chicken stock powder (we used one from an Asian supermarket)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • For the paste
  • 15 dry chillies
  • 6-8 baby shallots
  • thumb-sized piece ginger
  • , chopped
  • thumb-sized piece galangal, peeled and chopped (use ginger if you can’t find it)
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • For the rice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 700g jasmine rice
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder


For the paste, soak the chillies in boiling water for 15 mins. Drain, remove seeds and whizz with the rest of the paste ingredients in a small food processor until smooth.
Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish. Fry the paste for 5 mins until the aroma is released. Add the beef and the lemongrass, and mix well. Once the beef starts to lose its pinkness, add the coconut milk and 250ml water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer, uncovered. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking, and more often towards the end.
Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a frying pan on a low heat for 5-7 mins until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Using a blender, coarsely blend it to finer pieces – but not too fine. Put to one side.
After 2 hrs, add the coconut, kaffir lime leaves, chicken stock powder, tamarind paste, sugar and salt to the pan. Simmer for 30 mins more. You should start to see the oil separating from the mix. It’s ready when the meat is tender and almost falling apart.
For the rice, use a heavy-based saucepan with a lid. Heat the oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start popping, add the turmeric, curry leaves (if using) and rice, and mix well. Add the chicken stock and 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest simmer and cook, covered, for 5 mins. Remove from the heat, with the lid on and leave to steam for 25 mins. Enjoy !

Food Safari's beef rendang

Food Safari's beef rendang

  • 6 dried long chillies, torn in half (seeded if you want less heat), soaked in hot water until soft 
  • 150 g red onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 cm piece of galangal, chopped
  • 3 cm piece of young ginger, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (90 g) desiccated coconut
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • ¾ turmeric leaf, rolled and finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, rolled and sliced
  • 1 kg topside or chuck steak, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup Malaysian "meat" curry powder 
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water
  • 1–2 tbsp thick caramel soy sauce
  • salt


Place the chilli, onion, garlic, galangal, ginger and lemongrass in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste, adding some soaking water from the chillies as needed.

Heat a frying pan over low heat and toast the coconut until golden. Grind in a mortar, blender or food processor and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the paste and turmeric and lime leaves. Fry for 3–4 minutes, until fragrant. Add the beef, then stir in the coconut milk and curry powder. Add the water and toasted coconut (which will thicken the rendang) and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1–1½ hours, until the meat is tender. Add extra water during cooking if the rendang is drying out. To finish, add the soy sauce and season to taste with salt.