Rendang Tok (Perak)


50g cumin
50g coriander seeds
40g fennel seeds

Spice paste

150g shallots
100g galangal, sliced
30g ginger, sliced
30g fresh turmeric root, sliced
40g dried red chillies, seeded and soaked
40g garlic
100ml oil
5cm cinnamon stick
4 star anise
10 cloves
30g black peppercorns, crushed
1 kg beef, cut into cubes
1 litre thick coconut milk
3 stalks lemongrass, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
250g freshly grated coconut, dry-roasted and pounded to make {kerisik}
200g coconut shavings, dry-roasted until lightly browned
2 turmeric leaves, roughly torn


In a dry wok or pan, fry the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cumin separately, until aromatic. Grind all the seeds together until powdery. Set aside.

Blend the spice paste ingredients finely.

Heat the oil in a wok over low heat. Fry the cinnamon, star anise and cloves until fragrant. Add the spice paste, peppercorns and the ground coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cumin. Cook, stirring, until fragrant – about 5-10 minutes.

Add the beef, coconut milk and crushed lemongrass. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thick and beef is tender. Season to taste with sugar and salt. Add the kerisik, toasted coconut shavings and turmeric leaves. Lower heat and cook, stirring continuously, until rendang is dry and oil appears.

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