Easy Serunding Recipe

Serunding is a Malay side dish made with a fiery sambal and shredded coconut meat. Although usually served with meat, this recipe is meat-free and just very, very inviting!

Serunding originates from Indonesia, although many classify this as a Malay dish. The malay version of this dish usually incorporates minced beef, while the Indonesian one only consists of coconut and an irresistible rempah

I made this dish during the Singapore Circuit Breaker, which means that freshly grated coconut was hard to come by. Of course if you can get that from the wet market near you, I would suggest using it! I used frozen grated coconut instead. I know I prescribe to many, many frozen things in the kitchen, but I do really believe in freezing ingredients and food for later use!

This dish requires a rempah, or spice mix/blend, to be made before adding in the coconut. You will also need to toast the coconut till it’s lightly golden and brown. When I made this, I only lightly toasted the coconut and didn’t wait for it to get completely brown. This helps to keep the coconut chewy and less crispy. However, this is a matter of preference. If you like a slightly crispy serunding with a nutty edge to it, then feel free to toast the coconut further. 

Another point to note is that using a non-stick skillet here is very useful. This is especially needed when you’re toasting the coconut. Shredded coconut has moisture which will evaporate as the coconut browns. Using a non-stick pan would prevent the coconut from catching on the bottom of the pan. 

You can use ready-toasted coconut, although toasting it yourself will help to bring out the nutty flavour of coconut better. You can also try toasting this in the oven, but you’ll have to remove the pan and keep moving the coconut shreds around to ensure even browning.

If you have a Chicken Pulao Craving, here’s a recipe to get you going! 

Meat Variations

You can add meat to this dish as well, as mentioned above. The best way to go here is to use a mince meat of your choice. While beef is commonly used, you can experiment with variations such as minced lamb or chicken. I wouldn’t, however, recommend seafood. 

Easy Serunding Recipe

Recipe by Krishy MalCourse: SidesCuisine: Malay/ IndonesianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Serunding is a Malay side dish made with a fiery sambal and shredded coconut meat. Although usually served with meat, this recipe is meat-free and just very, very inviting!

You’ll need;

  • For the Spice Paste
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass, cleaned and cut into thirds

  • 1-inch Galangal, cut into coins

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 15 Dried Chilli, soaked in hot water

  • 3 Shallots, peeled

  • 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled

  • Serunding
  • 200g Fresh Shredded Coconut

  • 3 Tbsp Oil

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Powder

  • 1 Tsp Lime Juice

  • 1 Tsp Sugar

  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, thinly sliced

You’ll need to;

  • Make the spice paste first by blending all the ingredients together, with a small amount of water. Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed non-stick pan, toast the shredded coconut until it begins to reach a light golden brown. See notes above about toasting this. Once you’ve achieved the desired colour, remove from heat and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the oil, and then the spice paste. Cook the spice paste (this will sputter, don’t be alarmed) until it changes colour and starts to separate. Then, add the cumin powder, sugar and lime leaves. Continue to cook for 30 seconds to a min, then add the toasted coconut.
  • Mix until the gold coconut turns a fiery red from being coated with the spice mixture. You’re after a dry mix, so if the mixture is still wet then keep stirring until it dries out. You can adjust the heat to better manage this process. Just remember; lower heat could mean an extended cooking time.
  • Serve warm as a topping, or as a side.


  • You can make serunding in a big batch and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for longer.
  • Serunding is a great gift for loved ones; I have given this to friends and family when I visit them.

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