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Serundeng - Indonesian Coconut Topping

This dish is a mixture of shredded coconut, herbs, spices, and tamarind paste, pan-fried and used as a topping or condiment in Indonesian cuisine. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be afraid! It’s got a pleasant crispy texture, nutty flavor, and ginger-lemongrass fragrance. It works nicely with many different Southeast Asian dishes. {Recipe slightly adapted from the one in East Meets Vegan by Sasha Gill}
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 8


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 5 shallots roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded fresh coconut
  • 1 inch ginger bruised
  • 1 stalk lemongrass bruised


  • Grind the coriander seeds into powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • Combine the ground coriander, shallots, garlic, tamarind paste, sugar, and salt in a food processor (or large mortar). Grind until it forms a consistent paste.
  • Scrape the paste into a large nonstick skillet and add the shredded coconut. Heat skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently to mix thoroughly and prevent scorching.
  • When the skillet and its contents are hot, add the ginger and lemongrass and stir well. Continue stirring and cooking until the coconut is well browned and the mixture becomes dry. This can take as long as 20 minutes. It will take less time if you are using dried coconut instead of fresh.
  • Store or serve immediately


You can use dried (desiccated) shredded coconut if you prefer not to deal with fresh coconut. Dried coconut will not be as fragrant but will take less time to cook.
To bruise the ginger and lemongrass, place the ingredients on a cutting board and carefully press into them with a thick drinking glass or the flat edge of a knife.
The serundeng will stay good for five days in an airtight container in the fridge.