Indonesian Rendang Curry

Delicious Rendang Curry!
Delicious Chicken Rendang Curry!. About.com
    80 min
Ratings (16)

Indonesian cuisine has always been influential in Thai cooking. One of the more popular Indonesians dishes in Thailand and throughout Asia is Rendang Chicken or Beef Curry. Personally, I prefer this chicken version simply because the meat always turns out so tender compared to the beef. Note that Rendang is considered a "dry" curry, which means the sauce is simmered down to a minimum. Because it is so distilled, the sauce sticks to the meat, making this dish one of the most flavorful I have ever tried. And its wide variety of spices makes it extremely healthy. If you like your curry with an abundance of flavor, you'll love Rendang!

What You'll Need

  • 1 lb. chicken pieces
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh finely chopped lemongrass (can also be purchased frozen at Asian food stores)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger)
  • 1-3 red chilies, depending on how hot you like your curry (de-seeded if less heat is desired) OR 1/3 to 3/4 tsp dry chili flakes
  • 3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian food stores) OR substitute 1 Tbsp. more fish sauce
  • Optional: 2 whole star anise (available at Asian food stores)
  • GARNISH (optional):
  • fresh coriander leaves

How to Make It

  1. Place all sauce ingredients - except whole star anise - in a food processor. Process well to form a thick curry paste. If you don't have a food processor, simply chop onion and herbs finely and combine with the coconut milk, spices, and other ingredients. These herbs and spices can also be ground together with a pestle & mortar.
  2. Do a taste test for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili, or chili sauce. If too sour, add a little more brown sugar.
  3. Place sauce in a wok or pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces plus the whole star anise and stir well. Continue stirring occasionally as you bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer. Do not cover, as you want the sauce to reduce and become thicker.
  4. Allow the curry to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for up to one hour, or until meat is cooked and tender. The sauce will reduce so that it is almost like a coating on the meat (plus there will be a little sauce leftover in the wok/pan).
  5. Serve directly from the wok/pan with any extra sauce poured over. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh coriander. Serve with Thai jasmine-scented rice or Easy Thai Coconut Rice. This dish can also be served with flat bread. Enjoy!