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How to make Authentic Indonesian Beef / Chicken Rendang

How To Make amazing Authentic Indonesian Beef/Chicken Rendang

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Ingredients Required

2kg Beef Cuts or 2kg Chicken Drumsticks/Leg/Breast
Any type of Cooking Oil – decent amount
20 big red chilli + 10 small red chilli (for less spicy only reduce small ones)
5-6 shallots depending on size
5-6 garlic cloves depending on size
6-8 kemiri nuts (macadamia will work)
1 biji pala (nutmeg) 
1 knob galangal root
1 knob ginger root
A couple of lemon grass stalks
Bay leaves + mint leaves
Coriander Seeds – approx 1 tablespoon
Salt/Sugar to taste


Before starting to make the rendang, you might have looked at the list of ingredients and thought; that is a lot and this is going to take a while. 
The preparation work is actually not too difficult when making Indonesian Rendang. As long as you have the ingredients ready, this part will be very easy. 
Cut out your chili, so it is easier for your food processor to grind it all up. You essentially just put everything into the food processor, besides the leaves. 
Chili, garlic, shallots, coriander, lemongrass, galangal, ginger. Keep grinding it in the food processor until you have a nice thick paste. This can take a while depending on the type of food processor you are using. Do NOT add water to help this process along. If you need liquid, then add a little bit of oil. 

Rendang Ingredients

The Paste

Beef Rendang or chicken Rendang will be a success or a failure depending on the attention you give to the paste itself. You can decide how chunky or fine you want it. It is completely up to you. This is also the reason why there are as many Beef Rendang recipes in the world as there are households in Indonesia. Every family has their own little recipe and certain ingredients and ratio’s are kept secret to others. 
You might now ask yourself if this is the complete recipe, I am sharing with you. It is, except some minor ratio’s which tends to change every time I make this dish. 🙂 
The consistency in my version is not completely fine, but also not roughly chopped. It is a good middle ground as that is what I prefer in my Rendang. 


Heat Oil In A Wok

Once your paste has the right consistency, it is time to heat up the oil and get it nice and hot. It has to be hot as you want to fry off your paste. This reduces the heat from the chili quite a lot and brings out the flavours of the paste. 

The frying until fragrant part

Authentic Indonesian Rendang will get better, if you are really good at frying the paste perfectly. You can tell when it is done when all the aromas from the paste, fills your kitchen. It will vary how long this takes, so keep a close eye on it. 
Do not overcook your paste either. If your oil is too hot, you might burn the paste and that will ruin your entire dish. If you under cook it, you will end up having a really spicy dish with a lot of heat, but not enough flavour or a true rendang. 
I cannot promise you will get this right the first time around, but I can promise that you will pay attention now. 
Add the leaves into the paste when frying. This helps the flavours and making the dish even better. 


Meat coating

Once the paste is fragrant, then it is time to add the meat. Just get it all in there and make sure the meat is coated well with the paste. Leave it in the wok and cook it for a while and try to get the meat browned slightly in the paste. 
Let it all come together and make sure you stir the meat to ensure the flavours from adding to the dish. This also helps the meat get slightly cooked on the outside, but the main cooking process of the meat is boiling it in the paste with water and coconut milk. 
Once the meat has browned a bit, it is time to add water to the dish. Let the dish cook in the water for about 10-15 minutes before adding the coconut milk

Keep cooking for around 2 hours

True Rendang takes a while to cook. Beef will need to cook for about 2 hours, depending on how big your pieces are. If they are smaller in size, obviously they will cook faster, but I recommend having large enough pieces as they can handle the cooking better. You want the meat to be tender, but not to fall apart in the cooking process. 
When the liquid evaporates, keep adding water to the dish to ensure you can cook it for as long as it takes to tenderize the meat. 
Chicken will be cooked in approx. half the time compared to beef. Maybe even quicker than that. 
Add salt and sugar to taste at this stage as salt will enhance the flavour profile of the dish. If you forget salt, it will not taste as it should. 


Completed Dish

Once you are happy with the consistency of the broth and your meat is tender, the dish is now complete. You can use a fork to check if the meat is tender. 
Have the dish with rice and some Indonesian Samal Terasi on the side. The dish goes really well with Sambal Kangkong also as well as Daun Singkong. Both are great additions to the Beef/Chicken Rendang dish. 
If you want to see more of these types of blogs, rate the article with a star rating below, so I know what to do. 🙂 
Enjoy and thank you for checking out the page. 

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