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Beef Rendang With Coconut Sambal

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Beef Rendang With Coconut Sambal

Spicy and easy to prepare, this Indonesian beef dish is a real stomach warmer on a cold winter's night.


  • 1 tblsp tamarind pulp
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1.5 kg New Zealand Quality Mark beef chuck steak
  • 4 tblsp oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced (or 1-1½ tblsp minced)
  • 1 tblsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tblsp finely sliced lemon grass (fresh or bottled)
  • 8 dried chillies or 1 tblsp sambal oelek (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 6 whole cardamoms or 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½–1 tsp ground laos, optional (see Cook’s Tips)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups coconut milk

Coconut sambal

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or chilli paste
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped and a good squeeze of lime or lemon juice


  1. Mix the tamarind pulp and water together until muddy and smooth. Strain, discarding the pulp. Set the water aside.
  2. Trim excess fat from the beef and cut the beef into thick strips, about the width of your index finger.
  3. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and add the onions, garlic and ginger and lemon grass. Cook over a moderately high heat until they are fragrant and lightly coloured.
  4. Add the chillies or sambal oelek, cardamoms, ground cumin, coriander, laos and cinnamon, and stir over the heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the beef, coconut milk and tamarind water, and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, cook uncovered in a 140°C oven.
  6. The sauce should be reduced and the oil separated from the sauce. If wished, skim off and discard the oil. Season well with salt.
  7. Serve over steamed, long-grain rice such as Jasmine, with coconut sambal and green beans.

Coconut Sambal

  1. In a bowl mix together the coconut, salt , chilli, spring onions and lemon or lime juice.

Cooks Tips

- Sambel Oelak is a chilli paste and it's strength will vary from brand to brand so it is always wise to add more chilli later if you enjoy it.

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