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This succulent, slow-cooked beef rendang develops deep, complex spice flavours as it simmers away. It is best served with fragrant basmati rice, or you can accompany it with naan or roti to soak up all the sauce.


  • 6 long dried red chillies, split open and seeds removed
  • 2 red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped galangal
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves and removed and chopped
  • 1 cup fine desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps curry powder
  • 1 kg chuck steak, trimmed cut into 3 cm cubes (gravy beef, shin beef or topside)
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lime, juice

Place chillies into a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Stand for 5 mins or until chillies have softened.


Drain and reserve water; coarsely chop chilli and place in a food processor along with garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass and a little of the soaking water. Process until it forms a smooth paste.


Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add coconut; toast, shaking pan frequently until coconut becomes a deep golden colour; remove and cool.


Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat; add cardamom and cinnamon; cook 1 to 2 mins. Add paste to wok and cook, stirring for 5 mins. Add curry powder and cook a further 5 mins.


Stir in meat, coconut milk, water, lime leaves and coconut and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 to 1½ hours or until the meat is tender. Add more water if curry is too dry.


Season with salt and stir through lime juice. Serve with basmati rice.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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