Food: beef rendang - indonesian

Another super easy recipe for something savory and satisfying. You can most certainly make this dish using chicken or other meat. The key to this recipe is to cut the meat into small cubes. When I cook beef I usually make it quite spicy - my husband complains that I put too much chili but then again he keeps stuffing it in his mouth! So you are in control of the chili powder level, I am not going to judge ;)

Ingredients are, 
2 lbs of boneless or stew meat :: 2 medium onions :: 7/8 garlic cloves
1/2 cup coconut milk :: salt :: 1/2 tsp ground fennel :: 2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder :: 5/6 dried red chili peppers
1/4 tsp garam masala (see substitutes inside this recipe) :: 1 tbs red chili powder (I like it hot)
2" lemon grass; juice of half a lemon :: pinch of sugar

Have I mentioned that this recipe requires no oil!

Before everything else, wash the meat and then cut them into small cubes. And then most importantly drain the water. Take your onion and garlic and puree it in your blender or magic bullet like me. 

Heat a flat pan on the stove and pour the coconut milk in. The reason you don't need oil in this recipe is because of the coconut milk. Since you start the recipe like this, the fat from the milk is enough to cook the dish. I used the smaller can of coconut milk. You can use fresh coconut milk which I always plan on buying but never get to it. Also the fresh one comes in a pretty large container. You can also find lighter versions of coconut milk. I have used it in my other recipes and it was delish!

Once the milk is boiling, add the coriander, fennel, cumin, dried peppers and the garam masala. You can substitute garam masala powder by mixing ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and ground cardamom - or any one of these just by themselves. A note about the dried peppers - before you toss them in, break them in half and discard the seeds. 

Once the spices are mixed in, add the meat into the pan. Cook and stir until the meat changes color. Add the salt at this time. 

Add the pureed onion/garlic along with  red chili powder, the lemon grass stems, lemon juice and sugar. I used brown sugar instead of white. Mix everything well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. You will be cooking this for about an hour or one and a half hour. So you have to keep it to where it will not burn but keep simmering. There is no extra water added. The juice from the meat will help the meat cook. This slow cooking will also greatly enhance flavor. 

This is what it will look like when it is done. You will know its done by putting a piece of meat into your mouth, of course! If you don't like to taste while you cook, then just take your spatula and push into the meat. It should separate or break easily. This dish is great with plain rice but also tastes great with pita bread, nun, or parathas. Enjoy! 


  1. Kahkashan, this beef rendang looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing this Indonesian dish and broadening my foodie love!


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