rendang daging | indonesian beef curry

rendang daging (indonesian beef curry)

I’ve been battling a particularly stubborn head cold for the past three weeks, which is why I haven’t attended to my blog for a while.  After a lot of time spent in bed and zero desire for more than hot cups of soup and toast, my appetite’s finally returned and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about hot, hearty, melt-in-your-mouth beef curry – a curry hot enough to blast my sense of taste back!

If there was a bible in my house growing up, it was Charmaine Solomon’s Complete Asian Cookbook.  It’s an encyclopaedic volume with regional recipes from each major Asian province, encompassing India, through the central countries to the coasts of Japan and down to the islands of South East Asia.  Our copy was stained with splatters from many meals and the binding was only just holding the book together – a testament to its place in the kitchen.

fresh chillies

Rendang daging is a dry fried beef curry from Indonesia.  Curries from this part of the world bring together sweet, sour and salty tastes; gentle coconut-milk sauces fragrant with lemon grass and spices, piqued with chillies.

1.5kg chuck, blade or round steak
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
4 fresh red chillies
2 cups thick coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground tumeric
3 tsp chilli powder (optional)
2 tsp ground coriander
6 curry leaves
1 stem fresh lemon grass
1 tsp laos powder
1/2 cup tamarind liquid (3 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup hot water)
2 tsp sugar

Cut the beef into cubes, about 2.5 centimetres wide and set aside.

Place onions, garlic, ginger and chillies in a blender with half a cup of coconut milk.  Cover and blend to a smooth paste.  Pour into a large saucepan over medium heat and wash out the blender with the remaining coconut milk to ensure you get every last bit of the paste.  Add to the saucepan with all remaining ingredients except the tamarind liquid and sugar.  Mix well, add meat and bring quickly to the boil.

Spices, garlic & lemongrass

Reduce heat to medium, add the tamarind liquid and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the gravy is thick.  Turn the heat to low and continue cooking for about two and a half hours, until the gravy is almost dry, stirring frequently to ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.

At the end of the cooking time, when the oil from the coconut milk has separated from the gravy, add the sugar and stir constantly to combine.  Allow the meat to fry in the gravy until it is dark brown.

rendang daging (indonesian beef curry)

Serve with white rice, pappadums and a variety of traditional Indonesian sambals.  Although cucumber raita isn’t traditional, I love having creamy, cool yogurt to serve alongside hot curry.  Any leftover curry will keep well and will develop even more flavour each day.

rendang daging, chutney, raita & pappadums

11 responses to “rendang daging | indonesian beef curry

  • Do you Pinterest? | Opinionated Peasants

    […] A dish you will find on our beef board is redang daging which is and Indonesian Beef Curry. It has become a family favorite. It is not a recipe we ever would have found by thumbing through our own cook books. We found it at this pin. From there we could go to a beautiful (and helpful blog) table twenty-eight. […]


  • marko

    I tried the rendang daging but as I like it hot and spicy, I added 55 tiny red chillies (that was all that I had), seeds and all, plus I used gula jawa (brown palm sugar) instead of the white refined sugar. The extra chillies really produce a beautiful pungent flavour after 2-3 days and it is not really as hot (pedas) as you might think. The gula jawa helps to darken the final product and add as more authentic flavour too! I too am a great fan of Charmaine and have tried many of her recipes.


    • angelica | table twenty eight

      Appreciate your feedback Marko… The great thing about curries is that there’s so much room for personalisation. Charmaine’s book is such a great foundation from which to begin, honing authentic techniques and then experimenting with your own tweaks.


  • Sean Hosein

    Have made this recipe many times as our friends also have Charmain’s book (also stained and falling apart). We usually call them and they dictate the recipe over the phone but I have bookmarked your site now. We made the Rendang last night….. Faboulous!


    • Sally Kempe

      Hi funny you say your book is in a mess, I’ve had mine for more than 30 years, no cover, lots of splotches and still being used. About to cook rending, my favourite, what a great keeper!!!


  • Shari

    Absolutely gorgeous photography!!!…and the recipe looks amazing too! Dishes like this make me miss beef.


  • Mark

    Angelica, Charmaine s book was also a favorite of mine in the early years as was the rendang recipe – i used add solid block of cream coconut to give it extra coconut hit – not good for those looking after their ticker !


  • thesethingsarefun

    There’s seriously something going around isn’t there! I was sick for a couple of weeks and so were a tonne of people from my work. I can honestly say I know how you feel! Hope you feel better soon :)


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