Rendang and Rice

23 January 2020 By

I love making a huge batch of rendang as it freezes really well. This recipe forms a sticky, thick and spicy paste that’s absolutely moreish. Best cooked low and slow with chunky pieces of gravy beef. With its connective tissue, slow cooking the gravy beef produces meltingly tender meat.

While for vegetarians and vegans this recipe works wonderfully with potatoes, sweet potato, eggplant or pumpkin.

Ingredients - Serves 10 to 12

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli or a few Bird’s Eye chillies
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass, white section bashed
  • 1 large red onion, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 jar Latasha’s Kitchen Rendang Terlagi Lagi Paste
  • 180 ml water, used to rinse out the empty jar of paste
  • 2 kg gravy beef, diced into chunks
  • 2 turmeric leaves, rolled tightly then finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 ml Ayam coconut milk or cream
  • 1 litre water
  • 5 tbsp fresh/frozen grated coconut, toasted till golden crispy brown then ground with mortal pestle (Kerisik*)
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, crushed


  • Store bought fried shallots and garlic
  • Fresh cut red chillies
  • Green section of spring onions or coriander leaves, chopped

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  1. Heat oil in a deep wide pot. Add onions, lemongrass, chillies and a pinch of salt. Cook for 12 minutes or until onion has caramelised.
  2. Next add Latasha’s Kitchen Rendang Terlagi Lagi Paste. Fill the empty jar full of water, shake and pour into the pot as well. Simmer until the sauce is reduced, aromatic and forms a sticky paste.
  3. Then add beef pieces and 1 tsp salt. Fry the beef in the spice mixture on medium heat for 15 minutes until it’s coated with the spice paste and browned all over.
  4. Next add half the shredded turmeric leaves, 400 ml coconut cream and 1 litre water to cover the meat. Bring to a quick rolling boil.
  5. Boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat and simmer with a lid for approx. 1 hour or until beef is cooked. Then remove the lid, turn the heat on high and allow most of the liquid to evaporate until the sauce is almost dry.
  6. At this stage add the toasted coconut (kerisk), balance of shredded turmeric leaves, palm sugar and stir continuously until gravy is thick. Adjust salt to taste.
  7. Garnish with fried shallots, garlic, spring onions or coriander and red chillies,.
  8. Serve with steamed rice and cucumber coconut salad.

NOTE: Purchase frozen turmeric leaves from the frozen goods section of your local Oriental grocery stores (preferably Malaysia, Singaporean, Vietnamese or Indonesian owners).


Kerisik (ground toasted coconut) is used to thicken curries naturally in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. It adds an unmistakable boost of nuttiness to coconut based gravies. It also imparts a wonderful richness of colour and fragrance to the dish. You can add kerisik at the beginning of the dish and more towards the end as a garnish.

Once made, it can be stored in your fridge or freezer and used whenever needed. The colour should be dark brown, texture fairly smooth and oily, almost resembling melted dark chocolate.

To make kerisik use frozen coconut which has been defrosted. Pan fry in a wok with no oil over medium heat until it turns a nutty dark golden brown. No white bits of coconut must remain but be careful not to burn it. Burnt coconut will be black, what we want is crispy dark brown coconut. This can take almost 25 minutes and must be continually watched and turned. It’s best made ahead of time.

Cool toasted coconut then crush in a spice blender or use a mortar and pestle.

Alternatively spread the defrosted coconut thinly on a lightly greased baking tray. Then bake in fan forced oven at a low temperature of 140˚C until golden brown. It can take 40-60 minutes and must be turned over half way.

NOTE: Purchase your frozen coconut from the freezer section of your local Oriental grocer. The best ones are from Thailand or Indonesia. Don’t use the frozen coconut from India as the quality isn’t great.