Rendang, the Delicacy of Minangkabau Legacy

Who does not know rendang? Almost all Indonesian must be familiar with this particular meat dish in spicy coconut milk sauce, that can be found in every Padang restaurants across the country—and abroad too.

For you who do not know yet, rendang is a delicate legacy of Minangkabau ethnic (also known as Minang or Padang). They are the indigenous of West Sumatran highlands. This dish is served with rice or ketupat to honor guests, notably in ceremonial occasions, and has been become a prima donna in Indonesian cuisine.

Cooking rendang needs a lot of patience as it is a slow cooker. The meat is boiled in seasoned coconut milk for hours until the sauce become concentrated and oily, in that way it become very tender and all condiments become well absorbed. Commonly, rendang recipes use beef, but not necessarily. It can also be substitute with other meat or even vegetable.

The beef rendang recipe that I share later on this post is adapted from my relative whom a Minangkabau descend. Over all of rendang recipes that I have tested before, this is by far the best—tasted nearly as the authentic one. May be because the use of turmeric leaf (which also made the dish can be stored for months) and kerisik.

Some alterations have been made though. My version uses half thick coconut milk and half beef stock which then poached with the rest of ingredients in the traditional way to make a sauce; and beef steak that cooked separately (I grilled it medium rare). Excluding these changes, the composition of basic ingredients remain the same. Even so, the result still have core taste of rendang.

Beef rendang a la GrowinKitchen.
Want some?
Grab fast.

Beef Rendang (a la GrowinKitchen)

  • 200 g beef filet mignon (or substitute with regular tenderloin)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • a pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 g garlic
  • 40 g shallot
  • 100 g chili
  • ½ cm ginger
  • 2 cm galangal
  • 1 tsp coriander seed (toasted)
  • ½ tsp cumin (toasted)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 stalks lime-grass (bruised)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 turmeric leaf (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tablespoons of kerisik (toasted shredded coconut)
  • 400 ml thick coconut milk
  • 400 ml beef stock
  • 200 g small potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon spring onion (chopped)

Preparation method:
  1. Cut beef into two big chunks and marinate with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Refine all garlic, shallot, chili, ginger, galangal, coriander, cumin and salt.
  3. Boil the refined ingredients with coconut milk, beef stock, lime-grass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaf, tamarind, star anise and kerisik. Stir well.
  4. Continue to boil until become concentrated oily paste. Take off heat, take off tamarind remnants, then blend it with food processor.
  5. Boil potatoes until cooked through, sauté with onion and spring onion.
  6. On a grill, put in the beef (smear a little sauce gradually if you like). If your chunk is 2 cm thick or less, cook 5 minutes each side, but if it is thicker then put a little longer until the surface is dark-colored.
  7. Serve steak with sauce and potatoes.
Yield 2 serves.

Note: Original version use light coconut milk and young coconut water, instead of beef stock. If you want to cook it the old fashioned way, bring light coconut milk and coconut water to boil together with turmeric leaf, lime leaves, star anise and refined ingredients. When liquid half evaporate, pull in the beef and thick coconut milk and cook until the sauce is dry and dark-colored. Serve with rice. This dried style rendang can be stored up to three months.


  1. Hi Nilam, I found your blog through Jamie Oliver's web page. I absolutely love beef rendang. When I visit Indonesia, it's my must-eat dish.
    I sometimes make my own version in my kitchen, but it's slightly different than the 'traditional' recipe.
    Your beef rendang looks utterly delicious. Yum.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Hi Michael, your own version of rendang sounds very interesting. I'd love to hear more about it.
    I've tried some other rendang recipes but none of them tasted like the original Minangkabau rendang. This one is the closest and I think it's the kerisik that really makes it.


  3. Hi Nilam! What a nice recipe! Would really like to try it! Thanks for sharing and for accepting my friend request on FoodBuzz!