Rendang is a dish which originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country.One of the characteristic foods of Minangkabau culture, it is served at ceremonial occasions and to honour guests.Also popular in Malaysia and Singapore, rendang is traditionally prepared by the Malay community during festive occasions. Though rendang is sometimes described as being like a curry, and the name is sometimes applied to curried meat dishes in Malaysia, authentic rendang is nothing like a curry.In Malay classical literature, rendang is mentioned in Hikayat Amir Hamzah as early as the 1550s.


Rendang is made from beef (or occasionally beef liver, chicken, mutton, water buffalo, duck, or vegetables like jackfruit or cassava) slowly cooked in coconut milk, spices and sometimes kerisik (toasted coconut paste) for several hours until almost all the liquid is gone, allowing the meat to absorb the spicy condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying as the liquid evaporates. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the spices and to become tender. The spices may include ginger, galangal, turmeric leaf, lemon grass and chillies. Chicken or duck rendang also contains tamarind and is usually not cooked for as long as beef rendang.

There are two kinds of rendang: dried and wet. Dried rendang can be kept for three to four months, and it is for ceremonial occasions or to honour guests. Wet rendang, also known as kalio, can be found in Minangkabau restaurants, and without refrigeration, it should be consumed within a month.

Rendang is often served with rice, ketupat (a compressed rice cake) and lemang (glutinous rice barbecued in bamboo tubes) in Indonesia.


Onion or shallots, minced -- 1/2 cup
Chile peppers, minced -- from 5 to 20
Garlic, minced -- 3-4 cloves
Salt -- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric -- 1/2 teaspoon
Oil -- 3 tablespoons
Beef chuck or round, cut into thin slices -- 2 pounds
Ginger or galangal, sliced into thin rounds -- 2-3 rounds
Lemon grass, white part only, pounded flat -- 2 stalks
Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
Salt -- to season
Coconut milk -- 4 cups



  1. Method
  2. Plase the onion, chiles, garlic, salt and turmeric to the bowl of a food processor or blender and process to a puree. Add a little water if necessary.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high flame. Add the onion puree and sauté until fragrant and some of the excess water has cooked out. Add beef and continue to sauté until meat is lightly browned and the onion puree is reduced to a paste. 4-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the beef is very tender and the sauce is reduced to a thick gravy. It will be necessary to add a little water now and then if the sauce becomes too dry before the meat is tender.
  5. When the meat is very tender, allow the remaining water to evaporate out so the meat is frying slowly in the coconut oil that has rendered out. Let the meat fry this way for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and sugar and serve with steamed rice or ketupat (rice cakes).


  • Rendang Kambing: use lamb instead of beef.
  • Rendang Ayam: use boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Rendang is typically made fiery hot with chilies. Adjust the amount to your liking.
  • The onions and garlic can be eliminated if you prefer. Simply mix all the ingredients together, skipping the sautéing step, and simmer until the meat is tender.
  • The following ingredients can be pureed with the onions and garlic if you like: shredded and toasted coconut; 2 teaspoons ground cumin; 2 tablespoons coriander.
  • One or more of the following ingredients can be added with the coconut milk if you like: 3-4 kaffir lime leaves; 3-4 whole cloves; 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 4-5 curry leaves; 1-2 tablespoons tamarind paste; 2-3 crushed kemiri (candlenuts); 1-2 slices ginger; 2-3 bay leaves.
  • During the cooking process, oil will separate out from the coconut milk and rise to the top of the dish, and rendang is typically fairly oily. You can skim any excess oil from the top of the dish if you like.
  • Some cooks hold back half the coconut milk and stir it in toward the end to minimize oiliness.

Topic: rendang


Date: 12/08/2012 | By: Rendang Connection

Nice blog!

Rendang is one of the most popular dishes from Padang, West Sumatra. Padang is known by their delicious meals made from coconut milk. You can make it spicy or mild, depend how you like it. :)

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