Rendang Paste Recipe | Elika Tasker
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Rendang Paste Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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Rendang Paste Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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  • Author: Elika
  • Yield: 10 portions 1x


Once you have mastered this Rendang Paste recipe you will find yourself using this flavourful ingredient in many dishes!  The flavors work well with almost all vegetables and it will certainly add an amazing depth of flavour to tofu as well!  This would be a fantastic substitute for the curry powder in this Chickpea & Spinach Curry too!



100gm dried red chillis (see notes for tips on chilli)

300gm shallots

100gm garlic

30gm galangal

20gm ginger

4 long stalks of lemongrass

3 tbsp coconut oil

50gm desiccated coconut

1 large tbsp Tamarind pulp (see notes)  

5 cardamon pods

3 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

6 kefir lime leaves

10gm coriander powder

10gm cumin powder

5gm turmeric powder

1gm of salt 

5 tbsp of coconut sugar


  • Place chillis in a pot to boil until softened 
  • Peel & roughly chop shallots & place in the blender
  • Add the peeled garlic to the blender 
  • Peel galangal & ginger with a metal spoon, roughly chop and add to the blender
  • Finely cut the lemongrass ends (the part with the purple rings) & add to the blender, keep the rest
  • Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to the blender
  • Strain the softened chillis & then using scissors remove seeds & membrane, then add to the blender
  • Blend all the ingredients until a smooth paste
  • If necessary add more warm water to the blender to get the blender going
  • Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry non-stick frying pan until golden brown, then set aside
  • Pound cardamons pods
  • Start to heat gently 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan
  • Add the cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick & cardamom to flavour the oil
  • Remove from the pan after a minute or so once the oil is very hot & the spices have been well toasted inside (see note below)
  • Remove spine & finely chop the lime leaves
  • Bash the top ends of the lemongrass stalks
  • Add the bashed lemongrass, lime leaves, coriander, cumin, turmeric to the flavoured oil saute gently 
  • Add the paste mixture from the blender & fry until the oil separates from the mixture
  • Then add the toasted coconut
  • Season with salt & coconut sugar 
  • Allow flavours to develop over a low heat for approx 10 minutes
  • At this stage I normally jar up the paste mixture & keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, using 2 tbsp per portion with ½ jar of coconut mylk for every meal 
  • If not storing you can complete the sauce, by adding 1 jar of coconut mylk & letting simmer under low heat with a lid on to allow the sugars to caramelise for as long as possible


  • Different spices or herbs need different amounts of time to be cooked until it’s fragrant. 
  • Short, small and fat dried chillies are the least spicy. Then,  long, curly have a medium level of spiciness & normally used in this dish. Source from Asian stores.
  • Tamarind can be bought as a dried pulp, which can be soaked in water to get the paste, or in paste form in Asian stores
  • The cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick & cardamom can be added to heated nut mylk with a teabag for a lovely chai 
  • Coconut sugar will balance out the spice level, adjust accordingly to taste
  • I enjoy this paste with organic tempeh, shitake mushrooms or eggplant & sweet potatoes as a curry
  • If using meat, brown separately (marinate in advance) then add to the pan once paste has been cooked off, then complete with the coconut mylk & simmer on a very low heat until fully cooked & tender, around 1-2 hours (or try in the slow cooker overnight)
  • Although there are many steps & ingredients to this dish, consider you make this in batch and only need 2 tbsp per dish or as a marinade to really bring many meals alive

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