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
- 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
- To make the spice paste, blend all the spices and condiments (except the tumeric power) in a food processor.
- 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.
- 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.
- If not using it immediately, let it cool before freezing it.
- Lightly toast the coconut shreds (no oil). Set aside. I use sauté low and wait for ‘HOT’.
- Lightly toast the cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and cardamom pods (no oil). Set aside. I use sauté low and wait for ‘HOT’.
- Add more coconut oil and sauté the chuck cubes.
- 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).
- If doing pot in pot, use a high trivet and sit the rice on top.
- 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.
- If you did the pot in pot rice method, remove trivet and rice.
- 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!
- 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.