Rendang Recipe: How to Make Authentic Rendang at Home


Hari Raya will not be complete without rendang. This dish is the emblem food of the festive season. It is best paired with fragrant and chewy lemang, a dish that has glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk. Many Malaysians claim that nothing beats a good rendang.

What makes a good rendang is the fall-off-the-bone tender meat and a generous touch of spices. In Malaysia, it is common to use either beef or chicken to prepare the dish.

In this article, we’ve prepared one of the easiest rendang recipes for you to try at home. Impress your family and friends by preparing this delicious dish!


Origin of Rendang

This dish is thought to have originated from the Minangkabau tribe in Padang, Indonesia. They are especially known for cultivating musyawarrah, the act of making decisions collectively. Back then, they used to prepare food together to feed all the villagers in their neighbourhood.

To prepare enough food for everyone, the Minangkabau tribes required the help from all villagers. The delicacy then spread to Malaysia, as well as the culture of musyawarrah. In Malaysia, rendang is more commonly made during special occasions like Hari Raya. Therefore, it is considered to be a celebratory dish within the Malay community.

Rendang Recipe

Recipe by LokaTasteDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Rendang is a popular delicacy during Hari Raya and is typically made by using beef or chicken. If you have time, cook the meat for as long as you can on low heat. This recipe calls for 45 minutes of cook time, but you can adjust the timing accordingly.


  • 1 whole chicken (cut into 16 pieces)

  • ½ tbsp of ground chilli

  • 1 cup of coconut milk

  • ¼ cup of tamarind juice

  • 3 tbsp of kerisik

  • 2 turmeric leaves

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves

  • Salt and sugar to taste

  • 1 cup of oil

  • Spice ingredients:
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 3 cloves of star anise

  • 5 cloves of cardamom

  • Ingredients to blend:
  • 8 red onions

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 inches of ginger

  • 3 inches of fresh turmeric

  • 2 inches of galangal

  • 2 stalks of lemongrass


  • Heat a large wok on high heat, pour in the oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the spice ingredients, ground chilli, and blended ingredients. Stir well and let it cook until the oil separates from the mix.
  • Then, add in the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Here, you could opt for longer cooking time for more tender chicken pieces. Keep the heat low to avoid burnt gravy.
  • Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add in the coconut milk and tamarind juice. Stir well. Keep the flame on medium-high heat and cook the chicken until the sauce thickens.
  • Next, add the kerisik, sliced turmeric leaves and the kaffir lime leaves. Stir well and add salt and sugar. Serve while hot.

Ways to Enjoy Rendang

This Malay delicacy is best eaten with its partner, lemang. Lemang is glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk. Alternatively, you could pair the dish with ketupat or steamed rice.

Before serving, be sure to garnish the dish with a few slices of turmeric leaves. This will add more fragrance to the dish. 

Besides chicken and beef, feel free to use other meat of your choice in this dish. Some other common meat options include prawns and muttons.

We hope you find this recipe useful. Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!


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