Vegan Rendang

Published: 24 September 2023 by Simon Deane

This vegan rendang is made with coconut and a mix of aromatic spices and is a homemade tantalising treat.
featured image of Vegan Rendang

This is a plant-based version of the traditional Indonesian curry dish that is often made by cooking beef slowly along with spices and coconut milk. It’s a very flavoursome dish and in this version, tempeh is used in place of meat.

There is a wonderful mix of fresh ingredients and dried spices, that create a wonderful overall taste to this dish.


  • Light coconut milk
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Tempeh
  • Fresh ginger
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • A fresh chilli
  • Lemongrass paste
  • Salt to taste

How to Make Vegan Rendang:

Toast the Coconut:

To make this wonderful vegan rendang, you start by adding the desiccated coconut to a non-stick pan, then place on the hob on a medium/high heat.

Move the coconut around the pan regularly so that it doesn’t burn, toasting till its a light golden colour, and gives off a wonderful aroma.

Then remove the coconut from the pan.

To make the Vegan Rendang Paste:

Using the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil such as vegetable oil.

Add the chopped onions to the pan along with the finely chopped garlic.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium/high heat, then add the chopped chilli and chopped ginger.

Cook for another 2 minutes or so keeping everything moving around the pan, then add the dried spices and stir in.

making the vegan rendang spice paste
Adding the spices

Cook for another few minutes, which helps to bring out the flavour of the spices.

Then remove from the heat and add the contents of the pan to a blender. Most kinds of blender will do, it doesn’t need to be super powerful. I use a Kitchen Ninja, however a Nutribullet type blender will also do the trick.

Add the toasted coconut to the blender along with the juice of a lime. Add around 4 tablespoons of water and blitz everything until it reaches a smoother paste like texture. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender once or twice.

vegan rendang spice mix
Vegan Rendang Spice Paste

Set the blender aside and add the coconut milk to a pot. Add the slices of potatoes and sliced tempeh along with around half a cup (125ml) of water. Add the paste from the blender and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook for around 10 minutes or so stirring regularly. Chop the green beans into three slices lengthways and add to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes.

While to the vegan rendang is cooking you can also prepare your rice according to the packet instructions, if you are having the dish with rice.

Tips and Alterations

You can use fresh lemongrass in place of lemongrass paste. Just chop it and add at the same time as the ginger. This can also be added to the blender to make the vegan rendang paste.

You can mix up the vegetables according to your own tastes, substituting in/out different vegetables.

You can also use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes.

If you don’t have a blender you can still make a great tasting meal, its just the sauce will not be as smooth. Just chop everything nice and small.

This is great with some naan bread.

If you are a fan of trying these types of dishes, you might also like to try my Vegetable Pasanda.

vegan rendang in a serving dish

Vegan Rendang

Simon Deane
This vegan version of the flavoursome Indonesian curry dish that is full of flavour
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 658 kcal


  • 1 can Light coconut milk (400ml)
  • 2 onions (small/medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 chilli (fresh)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (thumb size)
  • 200g tempeh (block, cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 500g potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 280 grams basmati rice


  • Start by putting a non stick pan on the hob on a medium/high heat and adding the desiccated coconut. Toast for a few minutes on the dry pan until the coconut starts to turn slightly golden, ensuring to move the coconut around so it doesn't burn. Remove the coconut from the pan and set aside.
  • Using the same pan if you wish, add a tablespoon of oil along with the chopped onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes on a medium high heat until the onions start to soften then add the chopped ginger and chilli. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the dried coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir in. Cook for another minute or two.
  • Remove from the heat and scrape the ingredients from the pan into a blender and add the desiccated coconut. Add the lemongrass paste and the juice of one lime. Add a few tablespoons of water (around 4) then pulse the ingredients into a paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times if needed.
  • Add the coconut milk to a pot along with the potatoes and the tempeh. Add 1/2 cup (125ml) of water along with the paste from the blender and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook on a gentle simmer for around 10 minutes with the lid on the pot. Top and tails the green beans and cut into thirds lengthways and add to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • As the rendang is cooking you can prepare the rice according to the packet instructions.
  • Serve the rendang with some rice and some fresh chopped cilantro (coriander).


Calories: 658kcalCarbohydrates: 105gProtein: 21gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 111mgPotassium: 1312mgFiber: 10gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1207IUVitamin C: 63mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
butter bean stew served in two bowls
Previous Post

Butter Bean Stew

Next Recipe

Easy Chia Pudding with Berries

chia pudding topped with berries and seeds

Leave the first comment

Recipe Rating

  • Simon Deane

    My mission is to provide the resources to help people to prepare their own healthy and tasty meals at home and to teach people about nutrition and how to eat healthier...

  • Latest