Beef Rendang
Rendang is one of well known dishes from Indonesia.  It is originated from Minangkabau or more popular known as Padang referring to the capital city of West Sumatra province.  In Indonesia, it’s called Rendang Minang.   Rendang was originally made from water buffalo and nowadays beef is more popular (or occasionally beef liver, chicken, goat, duck, clam, or vegetables like green jackfruit or cassava or other leafy ingredients).

A recipe of rendang that is enhanced by turmeric leaf goes for Weekend Herb Blogging. I know it used to be organized by Kalyn and now it’s organized by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything. Today, I came back to join with a Weekend Herb Blogging #240, hosted by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey.

Many Indonesians who live in abroad don’t have any patience to cook it. It takes hours to get the perfect rendang in taste and appearance. 

[Updated March 2021] The original naming in Minang dialect is Randang which is taken from the word “MARANDANG”.  Marandang is a cooking process to eliminate liquid. There are 2 types of Rendang based on the regions of West Sumatra:

  • Darek (Darat or Inlands & Highlands) has  much more simple in ingredients, no additional dried spices (rempah) such as coriander seeds, cumin, star anise, nutmeg, Javanese cardamom as well as no ASAM KANDIS.
  • Pasisia (Pesisir or Coastal) has more dried spices to add due to the location. It used to be a place where spices traders gathered in the past.  Rendang Pasisia loves to add AMBU-AMBU (toasted creamed coconut) or known as KELAPA GONGSENG in North Sumatra and sometimes asam kandis.

To get the closest taste, I have planted my own turmeric roots in pots for yielding the leaves. Beside giving very nice flavour, turmeric leaf has benefits to be added in rendang:
1. Give coconut milk base foods a longer shelf life
2. Help neutralizing saturated fat contents due to the combination of coconut milk and beef

Turmeric Leaves
Asam kandis (Garcinia xanthochymus) is very popular to be used in Sumatran dishes.  Since I don’t have any access to get it. I substituted for kokkam or kokum (Garcinia indica) which is popular in Western India food. For some people who familiar with South India food such as Kerala, kodampuli or gorakha (Garcinia gummi-gutta) can be used as substitution. Asam kandis, kokum/kokam, kodampuli Kokum or kokam are belong to the same family of Garcinia or mangoosteen family, so they can be used interchangeably. Kokkam and asam kandis have the same colour, black. The difference, asam kandis is smaller than kokkam.

For me, it’s very easy to get kokkam since Winnipeg has a large community of Indian. I usually buy a pacakge of kokkam from the Indian/Carribean grocers.  Seeing Indian (especially South Indian) ingredients in Sumatran dishes are not unusual. You may or may not know that Sumatra dishes especially Aceh, North Sumatra and West Sumatra have very heavy influence from South Indian cuisines.

Since Indonesian and American/Canadian cuts of beef are different, I’ll use both terms. The picture of American cut can be seen on wikipedia while I’ll put the Indonesian cut picture below the recipe.
Remember: I have twisted the recipe to where I live now, due to lacking fresh ingredient resources and efficiency work.  Originally, this recipe uses fresh coconut milk that is yielded from grated coconut flesh, mix with coconut water and squeeze them to get a special taste of coconut milk. Also, it is added by grated coconut and toasted until really dry, then pureed or ground until smooth and oily

I found a great substitute for those, a combination of pure creamed coconut, pure canned young coconut water and coconut milk in UHT packages.

Coconut Ingredients

Rendang Daging Padang
Indonesian Beef Rendang
adapted from Lia of Dapur Gue, modified and translated by me


  • 1 kg beef (US: chuck, rib, and shank; Indonesian: blade, chuck, cube roll, top side + rump, silver side), unidirectional muscle fiber and thick cut
  • 1 package (150 g) pure creamed coconut
  • 2 cans (800 mL) young coconut water
  • 1 L UHT pure coconut milk
  • 4 asam kandis* (can be substituted for kokam, goraka, or kodampuli)
  • 4 small star anises (if you you a bigger size, take only 2 star anises)
  • salt as desired

Leaf Spices (REMPAH DAUN):

  • 1 turmeric leaf (since my turmeric leaves were pretty small, I used 2), chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, discard the midrib and chop the leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn but leave the midrib attach
  • 2 lemongrasses, cut 3 cm long of the top parts(set aside) and bruise the rest

Other Spices:

  • 100 g long red cayennne pepper**
  • bird eyes chilies**, as desired
  • 10 shallots (I used 5 since the shallots were bigger in size)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3-cm galangal
  • 4-cm ginger
  • 2 top parts of lemongrass that are cut into 3-cm length
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, midrib
  • 2 tbsp coriander seed, toasted
  • 1 tsp cumin, toasted
  • 1 tsp white peppercorn, toasted


* Asam Kandis is OPTIONAL

**All Chilies can be substituted with dried red chilies or red chilli powder

1.  Combine creamed coconut, coconut milk, young coconut water with REMPAH DAUN and star anise in a large pot.

2.  Bring to a boil and stir once a while. When the star anises are soft, remove from the heat and drain REMPAH DAUN and star anises. Separate the 2 whole kaffir lime leaves

3.  Process REMPAH DAUN, star anises, and other spices except 2 whole kaffir lime leaves in a blender or food processor until smooth.

4.  Return the smooth spices and the 2 kaffir lime leaves to a pot and combine with warm coconut milk mixture. Boil them together for 15 minutes at a medium-high heat.

5.  Add beef chunks, asam kandis and salt. Let cook until the mixture starts to oil and thick. At this stage, the fragrant aroma of spices begins to smell.

6.  Reduce to low heat and stir once a while. When the liquid absorbs, it’s time to add stirring frequency, so the mixture is not going to be scorched on the bottom. Savory aroma starts to come out. Keep stirring until darken, dry and oily.

Blade: Punuk
Chuck: Paha Depan
Cube Roll: Lemusir
Top Side + Rump: Penutup + Tanjung
Silver Side: Pendasar + Gandik

Beef Rendang - Rendang Daging on FoodistaBeef Rendang – Rendang Daging



  1. Hi Pepy,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! Your beef rendang looks gorgeous and I like your idea of combining coconut cream and coconut water – I'm definitely putting this on my list of recipes to try. Happy (late) Canada day to you!

  2. Pepy, the Rendang looks painfully delicious! It is such a coincidence that I was cooking chicken rendang for the very first time too at home a couple of weeks ago. Well done, Pepy. Beautiful picture too

  3. Angi, thank you too for the visit. Happy 4th of July there!

    Jun, thanks! This was my second time of making rendang from scratch. First made was painful, because I had to cook 12 kgs beef for Indonesian food event here. Honestly, I never make chicken rendang, but I made clam rendang before. I used the instant mix.

    Wiffy, it's time for lunch now. 🙂

  4. Hi Pepy, Thanks for sharing this recipe. I've been wanting to make beef rendang long ago but couldn't get a good recipe. Now I have yours, really makes me happy ;DD

  5. Oh…this is my favourite. It's soooo good with rice, especially coconut rice. But it's a lot of work. If I cook this, I'm going to cook a big pot and eat everyday 😀

  6. Hi Pepy, this is one of my favs Indonesian dishes. Wow, a LOT of work and yours looks yummy. I'm going to link to this in my blog so people can make at home. I just posted about taking students to our local Indonesian restaurant in Miami Beach.

  7. oooo beef rendang! i like to order it at Malaysian restaurants. it's so tasty especially over some white rice. thanks for the recipe!

  8. Really interesting Pepy read the post and other links you sent my way! Fascinating!! I will let you know about my fish curry! Usually my mom makes it w/white fish but I bought salmon.

  9. Halo Pepy, udah lama. Saya kebetulan sedang cari resep rendang and yours I know would be the best. Saya hanya bingung tentang ini:
    “2 lemongrasses, cut 3 cm long of the top parts(set aside) and bruise the rest” Yg. top tuh yang hijau? Atau are they the white part dekat akar? Itu bukannya bottom part? Soalnya yg. top sekali saya sering buang, kan hanya daun. Is that what you mean, bagian daunnya-bagian atas kalau serehnya masih ditanah?

    I was forced to change my email address. This is the present one. I hope everything is going great for you–

    Thanks for the explanation,


  10. Hi,

    Is there any substitute for turmeric leaves? it’s rather impossible to find any here in Germany and I’m craving for a really good Rendang! Please help 🙂

    Thanks in advance

  11. Great recipe! Just made it tonight. Cooking it until it’s really dry really does make a huge difference in the flavor. The spice paste really changes character when it caramelizes with the meat at the end.


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