How to Cook the Most Delicious Beef Rendang Curry Using Authentic Spices

Rendang is an authentic Indonesian meat dish, originating from West Sumatra in Indonesia. However, it now well-known as Malaysian rendang. Though it is a stew, the flavours are so classic that it is no less than a dish fit for a king.

Traditionally, rendang is a beef curry. However, other variants like chicken, lamb, and goat are also preferred choices. Turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, and chili define the essential flavours of the beef rendang curry. The other primary ingredient that goes into making this dish lip-smacking is coconut milk.

Within Malaysia, different regions have their versions of this dish. Some use makrut lime leaves, and others add turmeric leaves, cumin, and coriander. However, spicy rendang tok and rendang Rembau are two famous versions.

Below are some essential cooking methods to make this curry super delicious.

Slow Cooking Yields the Best Results

The preparation needs time and patience. It is necessary to reduce the sauce, and the spices coat the meat, to experience the intense flavour of this dish. After simmering the curry for 2 hours, remove the beef chunks from the curry. Thicken the sauce over medium-high heat. It will take 20 to 30 mins. Add the beef back into the curry. It will ensure the curry reduced to a thick oily mix of spices and other ingredients.

Beef Cuts Suitable for Slow Cooking- the Perfect Choice

Beef cuts with sufficient connective tissues, such as chuck and gravy beef, are perfect choices. These meats absorb the spices neatly and break down into nice meaty chunks during slow cooking.

Ground Toasted Coconut Enhances the Taste

The kerisik, which is the Malay name for toasted and ground coconut, is one of the secrets of fine rendang. Fresh coconut is grated, toasted slowly until golden and ground to a fine paste. This paste elevates the incredibly complex flavours of the dish.

A Paste of Main Ingredients Makes a Difference

Pounding ginger, galangal, and lemongrass to a fine paste and chillies, garlic, shallots, and turmeric to a coarse paste impart an excellent aroma to the beef rendang curry.

Traditionally methods use pestle and mortar to pound. Alternatively, the food processor also does the job with little water added. This paste, when stirred in oil, turns dark and starts leaving oil from sides, once cooked. It indicates that flavours have developed, and it is time to add the spices.

Right Mix of Spices Guarantees an Extravagantly Delicious Curry

The common Malaysian spices in this curry are coriander seeds, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. The authentic way is to dry roast these spices and adding them to the stew.

Otherwise, use readily available Malaysian rendang spice mix containing paprika, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, galangal, and cloves. Stir the spice mix regularly on low heat for 5 to 7 mins. Once cooked, the spice mix renders the curry with a fantastic aroma.

This spice-rich beef rending with such beautiful complex flavours is a must-try if you love Southeast Asian curries.

About Liz Edgecombe

Liz is our founder, dreamer & passionate spice evangelist. She is passionate about enriching life & does what she can to add that extra bit of spice to life.

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