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Vegetarian Rendang Curry


  • 50g butter

  • 75g brown sugar

  • 20 banana shallots

  • 400g asparagus, trimmed

  • 1 block of coconut cream

  • 400ml tin of coconut milk

  • 50g toasted dessicated coconut

  • vegetable oil for frying

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • freshly chopped coriander leaves and jasmine rice, to serve

  • For the paste

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger

  • 6 red chillies (with seeds)

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder

  • 1 stalk of lemon grass

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying


  • 1.

    Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and when it dissolves chuck in the whole shallots.  Season, turn down the heat and cook for at least 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so until the shallots are golden and soft.

  • 2.

    Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water, then refresh in ice-cold water.

  • 3.

    To make the paste, put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Heat the oil in a wok and fry the paste until fragrant – be careful not to burn it.  Add the coconut cream, a little at a time.  Then add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and boil to reduce the sauce by half.

  • 4.

    Add the shallots, asparagus and desiccated coconut and warm through.  Garnish with the coriander and serve with jasmine rice.

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