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Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

This is one of my “cheat” curries! Beef Rendang is a Malaysian curry and is considered by many to be the king of all curries! To say it’s extravagantly delicious is an understatement. There are very few curries in this world with such amazingly complex flavours.

Originally from Indonesia, the sauce is made with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom and star anise as well as fresh aromatics including lemongrass, garlic, ginger and galangal.

Unlike many curries, Beef Rendang is a dry curry which means there is not loads of sauce. However, the meat is so ridiculously tender and has a thick coating of sauce on each piece, so the meat literally falls apart at a touch

It’s straight forward to make especially as with this recipe, the paste is expertly made for you. I have tried a number of Rendang pastes and also make the paste from scratch – this is easily the best way that I have found to make this amazing curry which, whilst very tasty, isn’t too chilli hot!


  • 2 x packets Prima Taste Rendang – you can buy this from a good Asian supermarket and occasionally from a standard supermarket
  • 2kg shin or slow cook cut – cut into 4cm good size chunks
  • Potatoes – approx. 750 gms, ideally small waxy potatoes. Use whole or halved
  • 1 or 2 long telegraph cucumbers
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Juice from half a large lemon
  • 1 broccoli head and 1/2 head of cauliflower (optional)


Cooking instructions

 This dish, like many curries, should be cooked over two days

 Day before - basically following the recipe instructions from the packet

  1. Marinate beef in a container with both sachets of the Rendang paste from the packets for 10-15 mins or longer if possible
  2. Stir fry the marinated beef in a large pot for 10-12 mins on medium-low, stirring from time to time
  3. Add water until the beef is fully immersed. Add one sachet of Prima Coconut Premix and mix well (it will eventually mix when cooking)
  4. Bring to the boil on high heat and then simmer with lid on low heat for one and a half hours - stir occasionally while simmering and ensure the beef remains fully immersed
  5. Remove from heat and when cooled, refrigerate overnight

Day 2 (eating day)

  1. Gently bring the Rendang to the boil and then simmer for minimum of 60 mins if you are using shin or until the meat is getting soft
  2. After 30 mins, add the other sachet of Coconut Premix and again mix well
  3. Add the potatoes 15 mins later
  4. Continue simmering for 15 mins - if you want a slightly thicker sauce, turn the heat up to medium and remove the lid
  5. Make the simple cucumber salad – using a veg peeler, peel the cucumber into ribbons, add broken up mint leaves and squeeze in the lemon juice to taste. Mix and you are all done!
  6. Serve with white rice.

Optional extra touch

Sounds different - at a very good Malaysian restaurant in Wellington, they served the Rendang with steamed cauliflower and broccoli florets. I really like this touch but some don't! Chef's call!!

Serves 8 – this freezes well but if you want a smaller meal, simply halve the ingredients and use one packet of the Prima Taste Rendang