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There are many recipes for rendang, which originated in the Padang region with the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesians. Better left to sit overnight, the dish is a triumph of sweet, citrus, salty and spicy flavours and is often served at room temperature rather than piping hot, making it a perfect hot weather dish. Make it a day ahead and consider doubling your recipe to freeze some. Serve simply with slices of cucumber and steamed rice.

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Serves: 4


For the paste:

Place all the paste ingredients in a food processor and mix to combine, pausing to push the mix down the sides. Add the chilli soaking water to help create a smooth paste.

For the curry:

In a large, heavy-based pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the coconut oil and cook the paste on a medium to low heat for 6-8 mins until fragrant.

Add the beef, mixing well to coat the meat, and cook for 2-3 mins.

Place the spices in a spice bag and add to the pot along with the lemongrass, coconut milk and sieved tamarind liquid and bring to a boil over a medium to high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add seasoning.

Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut and palm sugar.

Turn the heat down to low and cover.

Cook for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more palm sugar or salt as needed.

Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.

To serve:

Reheat gently over a medium heat.

Remove the lemongrass stick, the kaffir lime leaves and any whole spices.

Serve with steamed rice, slices of cucumber and top with toasted coconut slices.


For the paste: 

3 shallots, roughly chopped
3 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks lemongrass, peeled and trimmed and tough layers discarded, softer internal pieces roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4-10 dried red chillies, depending on your taste, soaked in ½ cup warm water for 10 mins, deseeded

For the curry:

2 heaped tablespoons coconut oil
1 Ceylon canela cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 whole cardamom pods
750g stewing beef (cross cut blade and casserole beef are both ideal)
1 stick lemongrass
1 can Trade Aid coconut milk
3 tablespoons tamarind block, (soaked in 6 tablespoons just-boiled water for 15 mins and put through a fine sieve, pulp and seeds discarded and liquids retained)
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 pack Ceres Organics tasty honey roasted coconut chips

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