A Pictorial Recipe – Easy Homemade Malay Beef Rendang Recipe (Dry Beef Curry)

My Hari Raya Dinner consisting of a bowl of Kuah Kacang (Satay or Peanut Sauce), some Beef Rendang, Ketupat, and Chicken Satay πŸ˜€

Good afternoon, dear friends πŸ˜€

Here is a pictorial recipe for the Beef Rendang that I had cooked for my family’s Hari Raya 2008 feasting – I am hoping that the pictures below will be able to guide you slowly and make it easier for you to cook your very own homemade, delicious rendang for your loved ones to taste. πŸ˜‰

We can also use this recipe for cooking Chicken Rendang, which is what I planned to do this coming Hari Raya Haji festival in December. Heheh, in case you are wondering, I am not a Muslim but with this coming festival, there will be ketupat casings on sale at the markets as the Muslims would be cooking their Ketupat & Beef Rendang and I will be able to improve on my ketupat recipe. πŸ˜†

This recipe is an adaptation from Makcik Sham’s Beef Rendang recipe which I had posted last year HERE .

Ingredients & Method-

1) 2 kg topside beef – cut into 1-inch cubes and marinated with 2 tbsps salt (optional -add a tbsp of papain tenderiser to cut down cooking time). Set this aside and go to the next step.


2) Blend with 1 cup water the ingredients in Pictures 1 & 2 below –

5 stalks Lemon Grass (use the bottom 1-inch), 20 fresh red chilis (add soaked dried chilis for more spicyness), 1 whole bulb garlic (skin removed, here I used smoked garlic), 1 large knob (about 1-1/2 inches) of fresh ginger, 1 large knob of galangal or lengkuas, 3-inch knob of fresh kunyit or turmeric…and 25 to 30 peeled shallots…..(below)..

3) Other ingredients to get ready (not blended) …

…another 4 stalks of Lemon Grass, smashed at the roots to release aromatic oils

…1 to 1-1/2 cups of KERISIK or toasted and pounded shredded or dessicated coconut. This imparts a very aromatic, smoked fragrance which is a very typical feature of Malay rendangs/dry curries πŸ’‘

1 Turmeric Leaf or Daun Kunyit, cleaned and cut into 2-inch strips

2 tbsps each of Cumin and Fennel Powder (can use Coriander Powder, also) – Serbuk Jintan Putih, Jintan Manis & Ketumbar

Thick Coconut Milk from 2 coconuts, or 500ml of coconut milk of the packaged or canned types

1 cup water

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 cup cooking oil (not olive oil)



4) Start cooking by pouring in the blended ingredients into a wok over high heat. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until most of the liquid has dried up.

5) Add in the cup of cooking oil – you will now be frying the blended ingredients to make it more aromatic – this takes about 10 minutes.

6) Add in the smashed Lemon Grass, Cumin & Fennel Powders, Turmeric Leaf strips, coconut nut milk and water and bring ingredients to a boil.

7) Add in the beef cubes. Once the curry has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium to stew the beef.

8 ) The beef curry will slowly dry up as the cooking process go…remember to stir often to prevent burning at the bottom (at the beginning the rendang will look like the picture below) –

9) After 20 minutes of simmering, add in the KERISIK as in above…and continue to simmer and stir the rendang….

…as you can see from the picture above, the curry liquid is drying up somewhat (sorry for the yellow tinge to the picture, I had used a flash when I shouldn’t have)

….the rendang is getting more dry….continue to cook and stir your rendang…

…and more dry…it is almost done…


10) Add in the salt and pepper now. We don’t want to add the salt earlier because that will cause the meat to be dry. Season to taste and please note that the taste should be more salty than normal because the beef rendang is going with some plain white rice, or ketupat, or bread. πŸ˜‰

11) Some of you may prefer to have more gravy in your rendang and not have it so dry like the picture below, and therefore, you can stop the cooking now and dish out rendang.

Voila! You have cooked your very own homemade Beef Rendang!

The rendang tastes better over time…try tasting some now and then some on the next day to see for yourself. Keep the rendang refrigerated and warm up enough for serving at meals. Rendangs can keep well up to a week refrigerated.

I have seen beef rendang for sale and it is so expensive – good beef rendang costs about US$3 for 1 cup (about 200 gms, I think) but the cost of ingredients hereΒ  is about US$18 here in KL but it could serve my family of 6 over 3 days and we had the rendang at every meal! πŸ˜†

Hope you do give this recipe a try and I look forward to your comments on how your rendangs turn out! πŸ˜€

Bon Appetit!

choesf πŸ˜€


24 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Louise said,

    Good morning from New York
    You have convinced me of two things by offering this post.
    1. I need to learn more about Hari Raya, (hopefully before December)
    2. When I’m finally in my new home in PA, I will absolutely try one of your tempting recipes. This one may just be it. It looks so comforting and inexpensive. Perfect for the chilly days of fall and finance.
    Thank you so very much for sharing. I love discovering new dishes with “soul.”


  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Good morning from Kuala Lumpur, dear Louise! πŸ˜€

    Wow, you are from PA? I was living in Oregon for a while but I’ve never been to the Eastern states. I’m happy to know you. I just love your blog gives so much details of celebration of festivals. πŸ˜€

    I was hoping that with this pictorial recipe, I can encourage others to try this wonderfully delicious and traditional Malay recipe. The Muslim festival that we celebrated here is known in Malaysia as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa…known as Eid in the Muslim world. It’s literally meaning for us is “Day of Celebrations” after the Muslims have had a month long of fasting from dawn to dusk when they abstain from pleasures of eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activities.

    For this rendang recipe, you can substitute the fresh turmeric with turmeric powder, galangal with more ginger….and omit the lemon grass as well as the turmeric leaf if you can find them where you stay. Yes, this dish will warm up your bones and soul on those cold, wintry days in Pennsylvania! πŸ˜‰

    Have a restful Sunday!

    choesf πŸ˜€


  3. 4

    SueSue said,

    Hi there,
    I was blog hopping and came across your blog. A very informative blog bout cooking and I just love your beef rendang. Looks so yummy, must try one day but need to use chicken instead of beef. The family don’t take beef. Hahaha …


  4. 5

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear SueSue πŸ˜€

    Thank you for your lovely comments. I was thinking of cooking Chicken Rendang soon as I have some leftover kerisik in my freezer. I will post some pictures here then. You can use the same recipe here for the chicken. πŸ˜‰

    Have a relaxing weekend!

    With peace and harmony,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  5. 6

    whimsicaljottings said,

    It looks very authentic! Just the way I like it πŸ˜‰


  6. 7

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear whicksicaljottings πŸ˜€

    Thank you for your lovely comments. Next month, there will be another Muslim festival and there will be ketupatcasings for sale again – I intend to cook some Chicken Rendang with Ketupat and will post the recipe here.

    With peace and prosperity,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  7. 8

    Jackie said,

    Hi choesf,

    You may have recalled that I made a comment on your nasi lemak post last week. Anyways, over the weekend I tried making “nasi lemak” after your tips and pointers and it turned out great!!! Really yummy.

    I also followed your recipe for beef rendang and got the two thumbs up from the entire family. My hubby was really impressed and said it was very good and tasted authentic.

    Thanks so very much for your lovely tips and recipes. Bless you for generously sharing your knowledge.

    Have a good week ahead.


  8. 9

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, dear Jackie πŸ˜€

    Thank you for the feedback on your Nasi Lemak and Beef Rendang meal. I’m very glad that your first homecooked Nasi Lemak meal was a success and your family was impressed. I’m sure you cooked with your love and that was the “secret ingredient” to good food! πŸ˜‰

    Happy Cooking! πŸ˜€

    choesf πŸ˜€


  9. 10

    manila said,

    This looks greaaaat Choesf,

    Just yesterday I read about kesirik on your site and today I found beef rendang recipe. I love beef and chicken rendang. My mother in law makes lovely beef rendang. She was in KL for a good 15 years. Now back in India, she never stops telling about her good old days in Malaysia.

    Most of the malaysian recipes I know are from her and my hubby.


  10. 11

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Thank you for your compliments, dear manila πŸ˜€

    Ah, now I understand where you learn so much about Malaysian food from – your mother-in-law and hubby! πŸ˜†

    Rendangs taste absolutely delicious…we can eat it with coconut milk rice (nasi lemak Malaysian style), plain white rice, compressed rice (ketupat), and even bread. Rendangs have distinct, rich flavours, different from the usual curries…the kerisik makes a lot of difference to the taste. πŸ˜‰

    Happy cooking!

    With best wishes,

    choesf πŸ˜€


  11. 12

    Nic said,

    Hi Choesf. I have decided to try out your version! Got most of the ingredients today except beef, fresh turmeric & the leaf. Can i replace w.kaffir lime leaves? As recipe calls for cup measurements…which one now? Doh! :$ Thanks Nic x


    • 13

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear Nic πŸ˜€

      Looks like you are all set to cook your rendang. I’m remembering the delicious taste of this rendang as I am typing this. πŸ˜†

      Yes, you can substitute with kaffir lime leaves, too. Here, I am using those metric measuring cups for dry ingredients….it comes in a plastic set to measure 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup. πŸ˜‰

      Happy Cooking!

      choesf πŸ˜€


  12. 14

    Nic said,

    Ahh…almost! Been running across town to get the last bit of ingredients but now need to get hold of cup measurement set! Lol :-S x ps.can’t find turmeric leaf 😦


    • 15

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Good! You are on the last leg of your shopping. I think turmeric leaves can’t last too long and that could be the reason why you can’t find them? Anyway, enjoy your Nasi Lemak and Rendang cooking, dear Nic! πŸ˜€


      choesf πŸ˜€


  13. 16

    Nic said,

    Hello! Phew, kids are finally in bed and will shortly start doing the preparation. I just wanted to say thanks again so much for your patience, tips and guidance. πŸ™‚ Wish me luck! Lol πŸ˜› Nic x


    • 17

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Good Luck, dear Nic! Hope your Nasi Lemak and side dishes turned out okay? I’m sorry I wasn’t in time to wish you luck 😳 – I was busy over the weekend decluttering my garden and cleaning my car porch. πŸ˜†

      You are most welcome – it was my pleasure sharing with you my recipes. In fact, I am honoured that you are trying out my recipes. πŸ˜€

      Happy Cooking!

      choesf πŸ˜€


  14. 18

    Nic said,

    Hello my dear Choesf :-D. Thanks for the luck anyhow. :-);-). Cooked your late MIL curry recipe. I cheated though, by using Tean’s Gourmet curry chicken paste, and guess what?! It was such a big hit and now everyone’s after the recipe! Lol rendang & nasi lemak oklah. :$ I compared both makcik’s & yours, the ingredients & measurements (as it was for 1.2kg beef), I added extra l.grass & lime leaves (no turmeric), 1 tbsp each of fennel, cumin & a cup of toasted dessicated coconut; and cooked using your method. I just had the rendang leftovers with roti canai for dinner…mmm. Truly the taste gets better each day! Cooked 8 cups of rice, added 2 x 400ml c.milk, 6 pandan, 4 slices ginger, 6 shallots, salt & 2 stalks of lemon grass. nasi lemak was fragrant but it was bland, have I missed out something?!…aiyah, unfortunately couldn’t get the right texture & taste like home :-(:'( Nic x ps.wished you were here to sample it and tell me what went wrong πŸ˜›


    • 19

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear Nic! πŸ˜€

      I’m so glad to hear from you on how your big cooking event turned out. You did great indeed! I also cooked my MIL’s Curry Chicken with Nasi Kunyit (Turmeric Glutinous Rice) for dinner on Wednesday….I got the craving to eat that when I was replying your posts on that recipe! πŸ˜†

      For a moment there, I was very worried about the rice/nasi lemak as it can be tricky getting the texture of the rice right. Usually, local long grain rice is used but I use Jasmine rice for my nasi lemak. You have used the correct ingredients for nasi lemak. This recipe was given to me by my Malay colleague about 13 years ago…but this recipe could be different from the rice you were used to. ..but you can adjust the recipe to suit your taste with a few more tries at cooking it. πŸ˜‰

      Good! Now you are famous for your Malaysian food among your friends. πŸ˜†

      Cheers! πŸ˜€

      choesf πŸ˜€


  15. 20

    Bessy said,

    Wow this a really great step by step recipe! Until I started looking up recipes I had no idea beef rendang took such a lot of prep.


    • 21

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Bessy πŸ˜€

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, a good rendang (beef or chicken) takes a lot of patience and time to cook but the taste is well worth the effort that goes into it.

      Do have a lovely week!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  16. 22

    a girl said,

    Rendang, satay and peanut sauce are some authentic cuisine from indonesia.. I’m glad a lot of people like it πŸ™‚


    • 23

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear a girl πŸ˜€

      Yes, those dishes are also authentic in Indonesia. Malaysia and Indonesia has cuisine that are from the same roots, with the Malaysian type modified throughout time already!

      DO have a wonderful day!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  17. 24

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