We arrived back from our trip to Malaysia a lot larger for it… food knowledge and in waist line.  It didn’t help that beef rendang was one of the dishes on offer at breakfast every morning and it took 12 days to discover that this is meant to be a special occasion dish only.  Something to do with all that coconut milk. It doesn’t look that pretty, but it tastes delicious, or “la zat” as they say in Malaysia.

beef rendang


800g organic diced beef
80g olive oil (try Peter Cairds Bendigo version)
150g onion
50g Australian garlic
30g fresh ginger
50g lemon grass
100g sambal oelek
10g cinnamon stick
5g star anise
20g fennel powder
50g roasted curry powder
500ml coconut milk
70g roasted shredded coconut, they use fresh but we just have to use the dried stuff
50g brown sugar or palm sugar
2pcs turmeric leaf, if you can get it or just use ½ tsp turmeric
20g salt (Murray River pink salt is to die for)
30g sugar


1 Blend all the fresh herbs (onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and fresh red chili paste) until fine.
2 Cut the beef into large cubes and wash.
3 Heat the oil in a pot and fry the blended herbs until aromatic. Add in the spices (cinnamon stick, star anise, fennel powder, meat curry powder) and fry it until fragrant.
4 Add in the beef, coconut milk and roasted grated coconut, turmeric and brown sugar. Allow it to simmer.
5 Cook over low heat until it is dry and the meat is tender.
6 When the beef is tender, season with salt, sugar to taste and continue frying until fragrant and oily.

 Serves 10