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Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut

Dendeng ragi is a marriage between thinly sliced beef and freshly grated coconut cooked in spices until the meat is tender, then everything is further cooked until really really dry and toasty. This is usually served with steamed white rice together with other side dishes, such as telur balado, kering tempeh, and bacem to name a few.

Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut
Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut

Here in United States, I usually buy my grated coconut frozen. If you are adventurous enough, you can always buy a fresh coconut and grate the meat yourself, it will be messier but the result will most likely be worth the effort. Also, if you are going to serve this to kids or people who are not used to eating spicy food, it is okay to omit the chili, or maybe use a smaller amount or substitute with a less spicy variety.

Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut
Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut

Dendeng Ragi - Spiced Beef and Coconut

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 10 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 600 gram beef (brisket or other cuts that are good for braising), thinly sliced
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 250 gram grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups water
  • Spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 5-8 red chilies (*)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a wok/frying pan over a medium heat. Add beef, spice paste, and kaffir lime leaves. Mix well. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add grated coconut, mix well.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook until almost dry. Add another 1/4 cup of water, and cook again until almost dry. Repeat this step as many time as needed until the beef is tender. Usually, I will need a total of 2 cups before the tenderness is to my liking.
  3. Once the beef is tender, cook until really dry and toasty. Pay close attention near the end since a more frequent stirring will be needed to prevent burnt and promote an evenly browned and toasty result.


  • (*) Bird eye chili for extra spicy, cayenne for moderate level, and fresno for mild level of spiciness. Adjust the amount to suit your taste, or even omit if you don't want any chili at all.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Beth Beth says:

    This sounds so good! I’m intrigued about the coconut with the beef! Trying this ASAP!

  • Sapana Sapana says:

    The spice paste you used is incredible!

  • Irina Irina says:

    I really love this beef/coconut combo! Sound interesting. Cannot wait to try!

  • Pina Bresciani Pina Bresciani says:

    I love the flavors in this recipe! They are so delicious!

  • Dannii Dannii says:

    I love anything with coconut. I definitely have to try this.

  • Jenny Jenny says:

    Hi Anita, What cut of beef would you recommend to use for this recipe? Shall I use something that cooks quickly (for example rump or tenderloin), or braising cuts such as chuck/brisket? Thanks :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jenny, we usually use brisket (Indonesian: daging sandung lamur) for dendeng. The tough cut should become soft and tender after a long cooking time. :)

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

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