This is another Singapore/Malaysia dish. It is also a type of coconut curry but with more bite because there are shredded coconut in it. I love it over my white rice.

Despite saying that it is a Singapore/Malaysian dish. The true origins of Beef Rendang is actually of Indonesian origin. It is a celebrated recipe from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia.

Cooking it traditionally will take you 4 hours or more (stovetop/slowcooker)! However, with the awesome Instant Pot, it will be under an hour, and that includes making the paste to serving the meal.

There is a long list of ingredients and slightly longer directions but I promise you that it will taste great.

Ingredients (Spice Paste)

Can be made in advance and frozen

  • 3 Lemongrass; chopped (white parts only)
  • 5 Shallots; peeled
  • 2 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped Galangal
  • 1 tbsp grated Ginger
  • 8-12 dried Chilli; soaked and deseeded (or substitute with dried Jalepenos)
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 3 Candlenuts (or substitute with Macademia nuts)
  • 1 tsp Ground Tumeric

Ingredients (Sauce)

  • 5 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 lbs (900g) Beef Chuck; cubed
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick (approx. 2cm)
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Star Anise
  • 3 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Lemongrass; cut into 4 inch pcs and pounded
  • 1/4 cup Tamarind Concentrate
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Water
  • 6 Kaffir Lime Leaves; shreds
  • 6 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Shreds; toasted (best if fresh but frozen is fine)
  • 1 tbsp Palm Sugar/Coconut Sugar/Sugar; to taste
  • Salt; to taste


  1. To make the spice paste, blend all the spices and condiments (except the tumeric power) in a food processor.
  2. Transfer the blended paste to a bowl and mix in the tumeric power. Never ever mix the tumeric into your food processor, you are going to have a really tough time getting rid of the yellow stain or may not even be able to get it off. 
  3. Sauté the spice paste with 1 tbsp of oil. I’d like to use coconut oil for this. I usually do this stovetop since I make a huge serving for storing. If you are using your IP to sauté it, you will need to wash your liner before dry frying the whole spices and coconut shreds.
  4. If not using it immediately, let it cool before freezing it.
  5. Lightly toast the coconut shreds (no oil). Set aside. I use sauté low and wait for ‘HOT’.
  6. Lightly toast the cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and cardamom pods (no oil). Set aside. I use sauté low and wait for ‘HOT’.
  7. Add more coconut oil and sauté the chuck cubes.
  8. Deglaze with water. Add tamarind concentrate, water, kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar (or coconut sugar/normal sugar). Add toasted whole spices. Add spice paste on top (we don’t want to scorch the liner).
  9. If doing pot in pot, use a high trivet and sit the rice on top.
  10. Seal the vent. Set the IP to ‘Manual’, ‘High Pressure’ and 20 mins (25 mins if you prefer it slightly more tender). Let it do a natural release for 10 mins before quick releasing the rest of the pressure. It is fine if you just leave it alone too.
  11. If you did the pot in pot rice method, remove trivet and rice.
  12. Using the sauté low mode, add the coconut milk, salt (if needed), more palm sugar (if needed) and toasted coconut shreds. PS: I actually added an extra cup of coconut milk as my husband cannot take too spicy food and he prefers a more liquidy gravy. This is optional and up to you!
  13. Serve hot over white rice. Garnish with coriander leaves and cut red chilli if you think you really need more spice!


Slowcooker: Make steps 1-8 (saucepan needed). Cook on high for 8 hours (till beef is soft). At the 6th hour, continue with step 12. I probably won’t recommend the chuck for it.

Stovetop: Make as per steps 1-8. Simmer over low fire for 3 hours (till beef is tender), jump to step 12. I probably won’t recommend the chuck for it.

Not a beef lover?

For the non-beef lovers, this dish is great with chicken as well. However, I’ll recommend seasoning the chicken with the spice paste for about 2 hours first so that the chicken can be infused with the taste. Thereafter, you can use the same steps (skip the sautéing of meat) but…. Timing is shorter. 6 mins for boneless thighs and 7 mins for boneless breasts. If frozen or bone in, add an extra minute.