There's nothing tastier than this rich, spicy, coconut-ty, lemongrass-y meal. Beef Rendang (or Chicken) is a firm favorite in Indonesia & Malaysia. The dish itself comes from an ethnic group in Indonesia. It may have the makings of a curry what with the chilli and spices and all - but it isn't. If done properly, it comes out quite dry, with the chunks of beef coated in flakes of spice and the reduced sauce. It's best served with rice and bread (roti). If you're ever in St Kilda, Melbourne drop in to this place ( and try theirs. It's 100% yum.


  • Lemongrass - 1-2 stalks

  • Stewing Beef - 500g

  • Coriander Leaf - a handful

  • Shallots - 2

  • Galangal - a knob half the size of your thumb

  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves

  • Red Chilli Peppers - 3-4 depending on your taste

  • Turmeric Powder - a dash

  • Coconut Milk - a tin

  • Coconut Flakes - a cup full

  • Oil for frying - Groundnut or Sunflower

De-seed the chilli peppers. Put the Coriander, Garlic, Galangal and Red Chilli into a mortar & pestle and pound into a paste. If you don't have the time, or indeed a mortar & pestle, then use a blender. Set the paste aside.

Put the coconut flakes into a pan and dry roast them over a medium heat. Take them off when the flakes become golden and set aside. Put some oil in a wok, heat to medium then add the paste. The paste should fry here and become nice and fragrant. Turn down a bit to prevent the paste from burning. Now turn up the heat and add a little coconut milk, stir and fry for a minute or two longer. Then add the beef, toss and brown it in the mixture and then add some more coconut milk. Now add the flakes. Also, take the lemongrass stalks, bash with the side of a knife and add it to the pot. Bring to the boil and then turn it way, way down. It should be on a very low simmer.

Now let it cook for 2-3 hours minimum. Check from time to time to ensure it doesn't burn and add a little bit of water if it gets too dry.

Serve with rice and some roti bread. This also keeps quite well and can be made in advance.