This caramelized beef curry is known in Indonesia as rendang padang. You can create three different dishes with this one recipe by varying the cooking time. The first stage is kare (beef curry). Cook it for a bit longer and it becomes kalio (brown curry). Once it caramelizes, you get rendang.


Servings: 4


For the spice paste:

20–24 cloves, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 ounces large red chilies, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, roughly chopped
6 teaspoons galangal, roughly chopped
4 teaspoons candlenut, ground

For the curry:

4 makrut or regular lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass
3 teaspoons tamarind paste
750 milliliters coconut cream, 24 percent fat
1 pound rump cut of beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 turmeric leaf or 2 bay leaves


Set oven to 250 F. Grind all the spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, and tamarind paste. Add coconut cream and sauté until the oil from the coconut milk starts to separate out and the color turns brownish. Add the cubed beef.

Put all the ingredients in a stock pot without the lid in the oven. Slow-cook the beef for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until beef is tender. Transfer the beef and coconut spices to a wok. Slow-cook over medium heat while stirring until the meat changes to a dark brown color and is caramelized and tender.