Beef Rendang with Lemongrass and Ginger

A delicious dish that doesn't cost the earth.


  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 40 g coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 100 g block coconut cream
  • 3 large onions (finely chopped)
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 6 red chillies (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 2 thumb sized pieces ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.50 kg stewing beef (cut into 2.5 cm cubes)
  • 2 400g cans coconut milk
  • 500 ml strong veal or beef stock heated
  • sticky rice, to serve


  1. Pound the lemongrass to a pulp using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Gently toast the coriander and cumin seeds and the tumeric in a dry frying pan untill fragrant, then grind to a powder, or pound with the pestle until the spices are as smooth as possible.
  3. In a wide pan (I use a cast iron wok), heat the block of coconut cream until it melts but keep the heat low so it does not burn.
  4. Drop in the onions, garlic, chilies, ginger and pounded lemongrass and cook gently until the onions have softened and the mixture starts to smell beautiful and fragrant.
  5. Add the ground spices and the bay leaves and fry for a few minutes more until the mixture is really bursting with aroma
  6. Add the meat, increase the heat under the pan so it browns it well, and stir until it is completely coated with the spices-this will take a few minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil, then add the stock.
  8. Turn the heat up to a high and continue cooking- the level of the liquid will quickly fall.
  9. Please stir occasionally until the sauce reduces to a thick paste, then keep cooking and stirring until the sauce becomes thick like lava and really coats the meat (this will take a good hour).
  10. Serve the rendang with sticky rice


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