How To Make Kerisik (Toasted Cocunut) For Rendangs (Dry Curries)

Good afternoon, dear friends πŸ˜€

As I am typing this, it is raining dogs and cats here in Kuala Lumpur, a wonderful, cool change from the reallyΒ hot and humid weather that we usually experience. Phew! πŸ™„

Here is the procedure on how to make toasted coconut or “kerisik” as it is known in the Malay language. Kerisik is a must-have in cooking traditionalΒ Malay Beef or Chicken Rendangs (dry curries) because it adds on a really fragrant and smoky taste to the curry, making it distinctive from all the other curries. Try cooking a rendang for yourself and enjoy its yummy taste! πŸ˜€


You will need 2 cups of shredded, fresh coconut. Choose the type of coconuts that are used to squeeze santan or coconut milk because they are older andΒ contain more aromatic, coconut oil. The shredded coconut that looks very white and are used for coating kuih or desserts are obtained fromΒ  young coconuts.

(You canΒ use canned dessicated coconut if fresh ones are not available in your area, but the cooking time will be shortened for this)

Toast the shredded coconut in a dry (no oil required), non-stick pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the coconut is golden brown……


Pound the toasted coconut in a pestle or mortar to release the fragrance and oils. You can also blend it in a spice mill.

There you have it – homemade kerisik, to be used for cooking rendangs ===> πŸ˜€


Readymade kerisik is available for sale at the stalls selling coconut milk and shredded coconut, but I prefer to make my own as it is fresher and more hygienic. Personally, I normally make a double batch of kerisik each time and freeze half of it for use later. πŸ’‘

Happy Cooking!

choesf πŸ˜€


27 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    whimsicaljottings said,

    Have you ever tried it with coriander seeds? (biji ketumbar)? Next time, try making your kerisik with a teaspoon (or more) of biji ketumbar. It tastes much better! πŸ˜‰


  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Thank you for your fabulous tip, dear whimsicaljottings πŸ˜€ I’m qute sure the coriander seeds will complement the kerisik well and I will definitely do this when I cook my Chicken Rendang next month. πŸ˜‰


  3. 5

    manila said,

    Hi again Choesf,

    I really like this idea. I love beef and chicken rendang but I normally do this coconut roasting the same day. Honestly it becomes a bit lengthy process. It never occurred to me to make this ‘kesirik’ (there I have learnt a new malay word) and freeze.

    Lovely tip.


    • 6

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear manila πŸ˜€

      I’m glad you found this tip useful and now you have learnt another Malay word! Yes, toasting the coconut can be quite a tedious process, and so, we may as well cook more of it at one go. πŸ˜‰

      Happy Cooking!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  4. 7

    […] grated coconut, to make kerisik or toasted coconut (READ HERE for Kerisik recipe. You can make this in advance and […]


  5. 8

    KY said,

    I am so drooling over your rendang dishes! I’m not in Malaysia now and have been missing all these Raya feasts! I will try your recipes when I have all the ingredients. For the kerisik, how long did the toasting process take? There is only frozen shredded coconut here but they should work as well. Thanks!


    • 9

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear KY πŸ˜€

      Rendang is also one of my favourite Malay dishes and I love to have it with Nasi Lemak. Thank you for trying my recipes. πŸ˜€

      The time taken to toast the kerisik would depend on the amount of coconut and the fire. For about 250 gms of shredded coconut and a medium low heat, it took me about 10 to 15 minutes. I’m quite sure you can use frozen shredded coconut – it may take a little longer because it is more moist then. πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  6. 10

    Huay Ping said,


    In the market, there are 2 types of grated coconut, young (for making kuih) and old (mostly for coconut milk).

    Which 1 should I use to make the Kerisik?


    • 11

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Huay Ping πŸ˜€

      I was advised by the owner of the grated coconut stall that the Kerisik will be more fragrant if we use the older coconuts (the type used for coconut milk). πŸ˜‰

      Happy Cooking!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  7. 12

    Amanda said,

    Hello! Love your blog!

    I made chicken rendang yesterday and had to toast kerisik. What we didn’t know is that we had to tumbuk the kerisik to make it fine! Now our rendang has a funny texture altho it tastes alright. Luckily my boyfriend likes it because I don’t think I can stand the texture haha! Quite tempted to try the citrus fruit enzymes too.

    Keep blogging.



    • 13

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Amanda πŸ˜€

      Sometimes, when I don’t have the time, I will leave the kerisik not un-tumbuk (pounded) as it is good to have a different texture to the rendang sauce. My youngest son taught me another trick on how to tumbuk the kerisik without using a pestle and mortar – use put the hot kerisik onto paper kitchen towels or newspapers, fold the towels/newspapers, and roll or pound with a rolling pin. This method helps to reduce some of the oils in the kerisik, making it healthier! πŸ’‘

      Happy Cooking!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  8. 14

    patty said,

    Hi there! Thanx for the tips…I’ve been wanting to try make my own kerisik rather than just buy dessicated coconut and fry them. Its more aromatic and wholesome taste too to my chicken rendang~


    • 15

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Patty πŸ˜€

      Yes, the homemade kerisik is more aromatic. The markets here have ready-made kerisik sold in packets but somehow, it is not as good as the ones we make ourselves, which is fresher. πŸ˜‰

      Happy Cooking! πŸ˜€

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  9. 16

    Achik said,

    I’ve been wanting to cook chicken rendang and cant find kerisik in the Asian shop here. Thank God I found your blog. Thank you so much and I will try to make my own kerisik πŸ™‚


    • 17

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear Achik πŸ˜€

      I’m glad you can now make your own kerisik! Now you can impress your friends and family with your homemade chicken rendang. πŸ˜‰

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  10. 18

    fearflyer said,

    hi, just want to ask,is this made by Malaysian(i mean this blog)? anyway can keirisk use to make cookies?


    • 19

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear fearflyer πŸ˜€

      Yes, I am a Malaysian and I am blogging out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

      I remember when I was young, I used to eat some local cookies made from toasted grated coconut. I haven’t seen them nowadays and I miss tasting them – they were really aromatic with a distinct roasted coconut taste. So, yes, you can use toasted coconut or kerisik to make cookies…but don’t pound them to release the oils. πŸ˜‰

      Do have a wonderful day!

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  11. 20

    willysings said,

    Lived in Malaysia for 4 years and loved the people and the food. Great to find this site where I can recreate some of the spices and dishes I can’t get here in Texas.


    • 21

      Hi there, dear willysings πŸ˜€

      I’m glad you enjoyed your stay here in Malaysia. Have fun recreating Malaysian dishes and eating them there in Texas! πŸ˜€

      With best wishes,

      choesf πŸ˜€


  12. 22

    yin meng said,

    Thks!great help in my rendang cooking



  13. 24

    NS said,

    Thanks for your recipe! It’s almost impossible to find kerisik here, even in Asian markets. Thank goodness for your recipe! I’m thinking of making chicken rendang for my immediate family here soon. Wish me luck and thank you again!


  14. 26

    […] 2 hours, but every time I make this dish, each bite is worth its weight in gold. I even made my own kerisik (dry toasted coconut flakes, pounded until it turned into a paste…sometimes my arms felt like […]


  15. 27

    Monica Rampo said,

    Hai, thanks for the is really helpful when I found recipe of pajeri nanas that use kerisik.
    I just found that kerisik is toasted Indonesia we call it kelapa sangrai or serundeng.
    I posted pajeri nanas recipe in my blog and mention about kerisik and link back to your website.



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