Perak Beef Rendang

Recipe by Norman Musa


Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

Spice Paste

  • 10 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 5cm fresh ginger
  • 5cm fresh galangal
  • 5cm fresh turmeric or 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste, dry toasted (or 2 tsp fish sauce)
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, roughly chopped


  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 800g beef (rump ideally), diced
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp dark coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100ml water
  • to serve; 4 tbsp roasted coconut, 4 kaffir lime leaves


  1. Dry toast the spice mix ingredients in a small pan until fragrant, then grind the seeds using a spice grinder until they have turned to a fine powder.
  2. Blitz the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Mix the ground spice mix and the spice paste in a bowl to form a curry paste.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the lemongrass and cardamom pods and saute for 30 seconds to infuse the oil. Add the curry paste and saute for about 5 minutes, until the oil separates.
  4. Add the beef, coconut milk, sugar and salt along with 100ml of water, giving it all a good stir. Simmer, uncovered, on a low heat for 45 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Finally add the kerisik (roasted coconut) and lime leaves, and simmer for 2 minutes over a low heat. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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