Lamb rendang

Lamb rendang

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  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 4 red chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 T tamarind pulp
  • 3 T water
  • 3 t coriander
  • 3 t cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 5 T dried coconut
  • 2 T peanut oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 kg diced lamb neck
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 3⁄4 coconut milk
  • 3 - 4 Thai lime leaves, sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

Peel and slice ginger, lemongrass stalks, seed and slice red chillies and peel garlic.

Soak tamarind pulp in 3 T boiled water for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve, discard the pulp and reserve the liquid.

Dry-fry coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods over a medium heat until fragrant. Cool and place in a spice grinder, then grind to a powder. Place in a food processor with the ginger, lemongrass, chillies, garlic and a little tamarind water and blend to a smooth paste.

Toast dried, shredded coconut in a pan until golden brown. Cool, then grind as finely as possible in a spice grinder.

Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan, add sliced onions and cook until soft. Add the spice paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add diced lamb neck and fry for 5 minutes, or until browned.

Add star anise and cups coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer uncovered for 1 1⁄2 hours, or until the lamb is tender. In the last half hour of cooking time, add sliced Thai lime leaves and season with salt to taste.

Cook's note: Voted the most delicious dish in the world in a poll conducted by CNN, there’s no faulting this comforting, complex curry. This lamb version by original spice girl Vanie Padayachee is one of our all-time faves.

Discover more curry recipes here.

Vanie Padayachee Recipe by: Vanie Padayachee
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