Chicken Rendang

Chicken Rendang stands out in Malay cuisine with its tender meat and more generous gravy, contrasting the beef version. This dish pairs wonderfully with rice or roti canai, offering a lighter, yet richly aromatic experience. It’s particularly cherished at family gatherings, where the delectable flavours foster unforgettable memories around the dining table. Chicken Rendang not only nourishes the body but also strengthens the bonds of family and tradition, making every meal a celebration of togetherness.


  • 1.5-2 kg of chicken (cut into 12-18 pieces
  • 12-15 lemongrass stalks (use fewer for larger stalks)
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled
  • 20 small shallots, peeled
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2-inch piece of galangal, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons chilli paste
  • 800-1000 ml coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons roasted grated coconut (kerisik)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon fennel powder
  • ½ tablespoon white cumin powder
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder
  • Whole spices such as cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom pods, ground
  • 6-8 turmeric leaves, finely shredded


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat without any oil.
  2. Add the meat and all the ground spices (garlic, shallots, ginger, galangal, turmeric, fennel, cumin, coriander, ground cucumber, and chilli paste) to the pot. Season with salt and sugar, and mix well to prevent sticking.
  3. After the meat has released some moisture, about 10 minutes later, pour in half the coconut milk and add extra salt and sugar if needed. Stir for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining coconut milk, adjust the seasoning to taste, and keep stirring for another 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Stir in the roasted grated coconut and continue to mix for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the meat to prevent it from breaking apart.
  6. Lower the heat, add the shredded turmeric leaves, and stir for 5 minutes.
  7. Return the meat to the pot, mixing well with the sauce and turmeric leaves. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat.
  8. Once the sauce has reached your preferred consistency, it’s ready to be served. Enjoy your chicken rendang.

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