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Malaysian Rendang

Lamb Rendang


Lamb Rendang Recipe (Spicy Lamb Curry)

Crock Pot


1 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb (or beef or chicken), cut into cubes
7 tablespoons oil
1/4 piece turmeric leaf (optional), thinly shredded
10 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch length
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, lightly toasted
Salt and sugar to taste

Spice Paste:

3 tablespoons oil
10 dried red chilis, soaked in warm water and seeds removed
5 fresh red chilis, seeds removed
2 stalks lemongrass (white part only), lightly smashed
7 shallots, or 1 small red onion
1 clove garlic
1/2-inch ginger, peeled
1/2-inch galangal (lengkuas), peeled
1 teaspoon corriander seeds
1 candlenut, lightly smashed
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar


1. Plug in the crock pot/slow cooker and turn setting to High. Blend all Spice Paste ingredients in a food processor until fine. Scoop out, and set aside. Season lamb cubes with a little salt and put aside.

2. In a wok, heat up oil, stir-fry turmeric leaf and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant.

3. Turn heat to slightly medium-high, add blended Spice Paste, stir-fry until fragrant, or until color changes for 5 minutes.

4. Put in lamb cubes, stir well and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

5. Pour in coconut milk and toasted coconut and bring to a quick boil. Turn off heat and move all pre-cooked contents from wok into crock pot and braise for 1 1/2 hours.

6. Remove pot cover, stir and check to make sure the dish is not too dry and the lamb is tender enough to your liking, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender enough. Turn off heat. Unplug crock pot and allow the dish to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The sauce will slowly evaporate, and may appear slightly dry and thickened. The Lamb Rendang is ready to dish out and serve with steamed white rice or coconut rice.

Cook’s Notes:

You may substitute coconut milk for yogurt, milk, evaporated milk or other dairy products, however it will alter the taste of an authentic Rendang.

Desiccated coconut may be replaced with a two tablespoons of coconut milk.

Rendang tastes better when served the next day. If possible, store some overnight in refrigerator.

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39 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. teo ai li

    Hi, just a question here. Do I have to fry the chilli paste till the oil separates like your beef rendang? I had to fry for at least 40mins for the chilli paste as in your fantastic beef rendang recipe. Thanks for your help!

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Its totally up to you. I just did 5 minutes on med-high since I used a generous amount of oil to get it going, and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work!

  2. Myen Smart via Facebook

    Either way…different meat speak their own flavor and all are delicious in their own way…still beef rendang is the best of all :)

  3. soyamilk fan

    Hi, this looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it. Just a quick question: is tamarind paste the same as tamarind juice?

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Tamarind paste is a concentrated form of tamarind juice yield from soaking block tamarind in warm water. For this recipe, to get 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate, you will need to soak 1/4 oz of block tamarind with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Its so convenient to use tamarind paste and both tamarind blocks and paste can be easily found in most Asian grocery markets.

  4. Pepy@Indonesia Eats

    Looking good, Bee! I made lamb rendang about a year ago and pairing it with pacri nanas. I bet you know pacri nanas too :)

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Thanks! And thanks for reminding me about Pacri Nanas. Have not had it in a while. It does sound good after a rich, savoury Rendang meal.

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Yes, of course. Towards the end of the braising process if you feel the Rendang chicken is bit dry, you may add bit water.

  5. I love this and I will be making it for guests on Wednesday along with coconut rice. Any suggestions for starters to lead up to this or some first courses? Thanks!

  6. your pic is making me drool :S i loveee rendang but sometimes i get so lazy to prepare it + source for all the spices that i take the shortcut and use a rendang paste! love the one from prima taste as it tastes like the real thing.

    when i feel like getting down to do some serious cooking i’ll try out this recipe of yours! :)

  7. Christina

    This looks great! I have three questions, though. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut? Can I substitute japanese yams for the potatoes? Do you know what temp to cook this in a dutch oven, rather than a crock pot? Thanks so much!

  8. Christina

    Oh no! I just discovered that kaffir lime leaves have been banned in the states for the last six months or so. I am planning to make this for a party tomorrow. Can you recommend a substitute??

  9. Wegner

    Many thanks for the recipe.
    Just wondering if you can just use a normal pot on the stove to cook the meat for one and a half hours rather than using the slow cooker? (cause I see that you don’t use a slow cooker in your beef rendang and I am student the is not that rich enough to buy a slow cooker)


  10. fitri

    Rasa..can you tell me what the specific differences between Malaysian Rendang with Indonesian Rendang? (sorry if there is the same question). Oh, ya.. Have you ever tried to eat them?

  11. lilianti

    Hi, can i substitute coriander seeds to powder form, if yes, what is the measurement still 1 tsp ? Thanks, i love your recipe

  12. Emmeline Yeo

    Hi Bee,

    I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to you for teaching us this recipe on the Beef Rendang. I made this for our church group’s Easter picnic (mind you, all the aunties and uncles in this group are very experienced cooks in their own right!) and they all raved that my rendang was amazing! What a great feeling that was. I can’t take all the credit, as I have to accredit that to your well crafted recipe and guidance.

    I followed your instructions carefully, but I also added more chillies, and doubled the portions of overall ingredients as I was cooking for 32 people who could stomach very spicy Asian food. Haha! When they found out I made my own rempah, they were astounded! LoL!

    Thank you so much for your generous sharing of recipes and dedication to this website, and your uncompromising commitment to preserving authenticity, especially in Nonya cooking and other traditional recipes (in a world that has one too many quick and adulterated shortcuts these days) which is something I truly respect and admire, and hope you will keep up! :-))

    Looking forward to impressing others with more of your recipes!

    P.S. So glad your website is back to normal and no more Deer Hunter app game advertisement banners popping up on your home page! Eek, hope I didn’t jinx this by saying it… hehe… ;-)

    Warm Regards,

  13. Thanks Bee, for this recipe. I love your blog and made this recently in a church dinner. My friends love it! One of my friends even said ‘it tastes like homeeee!’ God Bless you

  14. Siew Leng

    Hi Bee, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have been trying to replicate this dish ever since I tasted it at my fav nasi padang stall. Went through many recipe books without success until I stumbled upon your site. Now I can make this dish anytime my craving strikes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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