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+ servings
two bowls of beef and rice with chilies on top and side of rice in a bowl

Beef Rendang Recipe (Malaysian Beef Curry)

This AMAZING Beef Rendang recipe is rich, creamy, spicy and filled with so many great flavors. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Malaysian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 518kcal


Spice Paste:


  • Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and cardamon to a skillet over medium low heat. Toast for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Remove from heat and grind to a powder using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  • Heat the coconut oil over high heat in a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot. Add the beef in batches and brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the spice paste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the paste has turned a dark brown (not burned). Add the ground spice and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beef back in and mix well to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, lemongrass stalks, tamarind concentrate, toasted coconut, beef broth, palm sugar, salt and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Serve with steamed rice, sliced chilies (optional) and a drizzle of fresh lime juice.

Spice Paste:

  • Add the ingredients in a food processor and blend until mostly smooth.

How to Toast Coconut:

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the coconut in a small metal baking dish and spread out. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Coconut should be a light golden brown when done.


Expert Tips:

  1. It is important to brown the beef in batches to obtain the browned crust we want for flavor. If you crowd the pan it causes the beef to steam instead of brown.
  2. Add more or less dried chilies to the spice paste to adjust the spice level.
  3. Coconut sugar or brown sugar can be substituted for the palm sugar.
  4. Kaffir lime leaves are essential to the flavor of this dish. I've included a link to buy them in the recipe card. However, 1 tsp. lime zest can be substituted if necessary. Just note the flavor will not be as good.
  5. I recommend toasting the whole spices and grinding them for the best flavor, however, ground spices can be substituted to save time. 
  6. Lemongrass paste can be substituted for fresh lemongrass. Use 1 tbsp. for every "stalk" called for in the recipe.
  7. Toast your own coconut (instructions above) or buy toasted coconut from the store.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 895mg | Potassium: 965mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 38.3mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 5.9mg