Recipe courtesy of Blue Toba

Rendang (Spicy Beef Indonesian Curry)

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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4 cups coconut milk

1 cup water 

3 tablespoons minced garlic 

3 tablespoons minced shallot 

1 1/2 tablespoons minced galangal 

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh turmeric 

1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 tablespoons minced chile (medium to very spicy)

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 

1 teaspoon ground toasted cardamom

1 teaspoon ground toasted coriander

1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin 

1 teaspoon minced ginger 

2 or 3 Indonesian bay leaves (see Cook's Note) 

One 2-inch cinnamon stick 

1 stalk lemongrass, minced

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes 

1 tablespoon sugar 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. Put the coconut milk and water in a wok or large pan over medium to high flame and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, shallot, galangal, turmeric, chile, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and lemongrass and bring to a boil again. Add the beef. After about 5 minutes, turn the flame down to a simmer. Add the sugar and salt. Cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the coconut milk turns oily, separates and rises to the top (this is the sign that it's done), about 2 hours.

Cook’s Note

Indonesian bay leaves are known as daun salam. Do NOT use regular bay leaves, they're totally different. It's best to leave out if you cannot find Indonesian bay leaves.