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.