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
  • 1.5 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


  • Pound the lemongrass to a pulp using a mortar and pestle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add the ground spices and the bay leaves and fry for a few minutes more until the mixture is really bursting with aroma
  • 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.
  • Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil, then add the stock.
  • Turn the heat up to a high and continue cooking- the level of the liquid will quickly fall.
  • 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).
  • Serve the rendang with sticky rice

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