Malaysian beef rendang is similar to the chicken rendang recipe we learnt in Langkawi, but beef has a richer flavour and takes longer to cook.
Rendang literally means a dried curry in Malay and as the name suggests, it involves simmering the beef for hours (the longer the tastier) in coconut milk, until all the liquid has evaporated.
In Penang we took a course with the excellent Pearly Kee who taught us this recipe for Malaysian beef rendang (good for 4 people).
Ingredients for Malaysian Beef Rendang curry paste
- 15 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 lemongrass stalks finely sliced
- 3 candle nuts sliced in half
- 5 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
- 1 inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons of dried powdered turmeric)
- 1 inch piece of fresh galangal (or use fresh ginger as an alternative)
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 dried chillies, deseeded and sliced (use less to make less spicy)
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
- 1 teaspoon of dried cumin
Other ingredients for Malaysian Beef Rendang
- 600g of beef, cut into thin slices
- 100ml of coconut milk
- 30g of desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- half teaspoon of salt
- half teaspoon of pepper
- 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 500ml of water
How to make Malaysian beef rendang
1. Make the curry paste by placing all the ingredients (except the coriander, fennel and cumin powder) into a food processor and pulverise until it becomes a fine paste.
2. Mix in the coriander, fennel and cumin powders.
3. Heat up a pan and toast the 30g of desiccated coconut, on a medium heat, constantly stirring, around 5 minutes – until golden. Then remove the desiccated coconut from the pan into a separate plate to use later on.
4. Heat 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and cook the curry paste on a medium heat, for 2 minutes – until fragrant.
5. Mix in 500ml of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
6. Add the beef and cook for 1 minute on high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better.
7. Mix in 100ml of coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, half teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of pepper and cook for 1 minute, high heat, uncovered.
8. Mix in the toasted grated coconut to thicken, remove from heat and serve.
For more about our adventures through Malaysia, please check out our Malaysia travel video: