Lamb Rendang (Spicy Lamb Curry)

Lamb Rendang (Spicy Lamb Curry)

Cook’s Note:

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.


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb (or any other stewing meat), 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
  • 2 small sized potatoes (optional), peeled, and cut into bite-size 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


  • 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.
  • In a wok, heat up oil, stir-fry turmeric leaf and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant.
  • Turn heat to slightly medium-high, add blended Spice Paste, stir-fry until fragrant, or until color changes for 5 minutes.
  • Put in lamb cubes, stir well and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Remove pot cover, stir and check to make sure the dish is not too dry and the lamb is tender enough to your liking.
  • Mix in potatoes, cover pot, and continue cooking for 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 up. Serve with steamed white rice or coconut rice.