Rendang: The Rich and Spicy Beef Curry That Represents Indonesian Cuisine

When it comes to Indonesian cuisine, Rendang is undoubtedly one of the most famous dishes. This slow-cooked beef curry is known for its rich and complex flavors, as well as its melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Rendang originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group in West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is traditionally served during special occasions, such as weddings or religious ceremonies.

The secret to a good Rendang lies in its spices and cooking method. The beef is first simmered in coconut milk and a variety of spices, including lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, ginger, and chili peppers. As the liquid evaporates, the meat becomes tender and absorbs all the flavors of the spices.

Rendang is often served with steamed rice or a type of flatbread called ketupat. It can be found in Indonesian restaurants all around the world, and it has also gained popularity as a ready-to-eat dish.

For those who love bold and spicy flavors, Rendang is a must-try dish. It is a rich and fragrant beef curry that originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

The key ingredient in Rendang is the meat, which is usually beef, that is cooked for hours with coconut milk and a spice paste made of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric, and other spices. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the flavors of the spices, resulting in a tender and aromatic dish.

Rendang is traditionally served during special occasions, such as weddings and religious festivals, but it has become popular in Indonesian restaurants worldwide. It is often accompanied by steamed rice and vegetables.


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into cubes
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 turmeric leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Spice Paste:

  • 10 dried red chili peppers, seeded and soaked in hot water
  • 5 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled
  • 2 inches galangal, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. To make the spice paste, combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the spice paste and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef cubes and stir to coat with the spice paste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the meat is browned on all sides.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, turmeric leaves (if using), and tamarind paste. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice and vegetables.

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