I recently heard someone say rendang curry was was their favorite dish. I had never tried it before, and so I found a recipe online.
The recipe doesn't seem authentic. Traditional rendang curry takes hours to cook. The meat is first boiled and then fried as the liquid evaporates and is absorbed by the meat. The version I made did not require hours of slow cooking. I probably didn't allow the liquid to cook down enough either.
Rendang curry is a dish created by the Minangkabau ethnic group in Indonesia, but it is now served throughout the country.
This curry was originally used as a way of preserving food. If cooked properly, and can be kept unrefrigerated for up to four weeks. I wouldn't try it myself.
There are many variations of this curry depending on how much of the coconut milk is cooked off and the type of meat.
The ingredients are 1 pound chicken, 1/2 can coconut milk, 2 tablespoons lemongrass, 1 onion, 4 gloves garlic, 1 inch ginger, 1/2 teaspoon dry chili flakes, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 4 tablespoons fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 heaping tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.
I began by preparing the sauce. I just chopped up the lemon grass before adding it to my blender. More preparation was needed. The final product has pieces of woody and unpleasant pieces of lemongrass. I should have only use the bottom five inches and cut off the woody base. I should have pealed away the outside layer because the outside it the most fibrous. A food process would have created a finer and smoother paste too.
I also added ginger, garlic, dry chili flakes, tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and turmeric.
I also added coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Be patient! I'm almost finished with the sauce. I add onion, cloves, and coconut milk.
I blitzed the sauce until it was as smooth as possible with a blender.
I put the chicken pieces in a skillet and covered them with the sauce. I simmered the curry until the chicken was completely cooked.
My major complaint was the lemongrass. The little fibrous bits were unpleasant.
The flavors were savory, succulent, and exotic.
The coconut milk made the curry a little sweet and creamy. The fish sauce and soy sauce made it briny. The tamarind made it sweet and a bit tart.
I would like to make this dish again using a traditional method. I think the flavors would be richer if the curry was cooked longer. The meat would be more tender as well. It was good, but it could have been better.