Aromatic Chicken Rendang | Aromatic and Rich Dry Curry
A truly delicious dry chicken curry which originated from Indonesia.
The Recipe Intro includes pictures of ingredients as well as the RECIPE VIDEO. Check it out.
- 1 kg medium to large chicken pieces (skinless and with bone)
- 1 tsp salt for marinating plus salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 turmeric leaf, midvein removed and torn to pieces
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, midvein removed and crushed using hands
- 1/2 tsp gula melaka (palm sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk of medium consistency
- 1/4 cup oil (Rice Bran / vegetable
- 1 Tbsp dried red chilli paste ( store bought or homemade)
For Rempah (spice paste):
- 12 shallots
- 5-6 large cloves of garlic
- thumb-sized piece of ginger
- thumb-sized piece of galangal
- a smaller thumb-sized piece of turmeric root
- 2-3 stalks of lemongrass (only the tender white -inner portion - use only 2 if you don't want a stronger scent)
- 4 long red fresh red chillies, deseeded
Kerisik (Roasted coconut paste) :
- 5 Tbsp grated coconut
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
For garnish (Any of the following):
- 1/2 turmeric leaf, midvein removed midvein removed cut - 'chiffonade' (rolled and cut into very thin strips for garnish)
- 1 kaffir lime leaf
- A needed: scallions
- Wash, clean and drain the chicken thoroughly.
- Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Set aside while preparing all the other ingredients.
- Peel and rinse all ingredients for the rempah. Chop them up coarsely.
- First, you need to grind just the shallots to a paste. Use the small jar of a strong mixer-grinder. No need to add any water.
- Set this aside and then grind the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste as well. Here, you can add 1-2 tablespoons to help it along, no more.
- Traditionally, pestle and mortar are used. This enhances the flavor too but is time-consuming to get a smooth paste. My mixer is extremely powerful and I get a rich smooth paste each time, so I prefer this method.
- Heat the oil in a well-seasoned wok. The rempeh does require this amount of oil to cook properly.
- As the oil heats up, add the shallot paste, first. Stir-fry continuously for about 5 minutes, on low-medium heat till the mixture turns golden in color.
- Once the onion paste is golden, add the remaining Rempeh ‘spice paste’ and continue to stir fry for a minute.
- Next, add the dried red chilli paste and continue to stir fry till you see that the oil has separated and the pastes turns richer in color.
- To further enhance the aroma of the rendang gravy, now add the crushed lemongrass as well as crushed/torn kaffir lime leaves. Allow to heat up in the spice paste, so that the aromas are released. These may be removed and discarded when you feel they have added enough aroma to the gravy.
- Now, add the marinated chicken and toss well with the fried rempah (spice paste). We need to sear the pieces and allow each piece to be sealed with a layer of spice paste. To achieve this, continuously toss the chicken in the spice paste for about 3 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Add the torn turmeric leaf (daun kunyit) and some salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp should be sufficient). Toss well to allow the leaves to wilt.
- Pour in the coconut milk and stir continuously on medium heat till the spice paste is evenly mixed into it. Stir quickly to prevent any curdling. Using a wide flat spatula and stirring from the bottom of the wok. Using a lifting and turning action also ensures that the coconut milk does not curdle.
- Once the spice paste is evenly distributed, add the gula melaka and stir once again.
- Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cover the wok. Simmer for 15- 20 minutes till the coconut milk reduces and produces a thick saucy coating over the chicken. You will need to open and stir occasionally to prevent the spice paste from sticking to the bottom of the wok.
- Meanwhile, prepare the kerisik: (For very fresh grated coconut with a good creamy quality, oil is not needed to roast the coconut, However, if your grated coconut is pre-packaged and probably not so moist, I recommend adding 1 Tbsp of coconut oil to the wok and heat before adding the grated coconut. Add the grated coconut and stir fry continuously for 10 – 15 minutes on a medium heat. We want the coconut to turn golden brown. Do not step away from the wok as this can cause the coconut to turn black on the bottom and will not give good results. As soon as the golden brown color is achieved, remove the coconut to a plate as it can continue to darken if left in the hot wok.
- Now we need to pound the roasted coconut using a pestle and mortar. Yes, that is the traditional method. It gives good results but requires a good amount of elbow grease. I often use my trusted mixer jar to grind the coconut to a smooth paste as well, with very good results. Kerisik can be grainy or smooth, depending on your preference.. I like mine to be as smooth as possible. Pound the roasted coconut for a good 10 minutes, to achieve a paste like texture. The color also changes as it becomes more paste-like.
- Make sure you remember to stir the chicken and sauce occasionaly while you are pounding the kerisik.
- Once the gravy has reduced and thickened, we can add the kerisik and continue to cook for another 10 minutes on low-medium heat.
- Now, you can always adjust the thickness of the rendang to your liking. Add hot water or dilute coconut milk , if you would like a looser gravy.
- Finally, our delicious Chicken Rendang is ready to be served. Remove the leaves and crushed lemongrass.
- Garnish with the chiffonaded leaves.
- Serve with steamed white rice or Nasi Kunyit.
Aromatic Chicken Rendang
- If you dont have dried chilli paste, soak 3 dried red chillies(mild) in boiled water for 20 minutes and add it to the ‘rempah’ spice mixture. Check out this video on how to make home made dried red chilli paste.
Key Ingredients: Chicken, Coconut Milk, Coconut, Shallots, Ginger, Garlic, Galangal, Lemongrass, Chillies, Turmeric, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Turmeric Leaves, Salt, Oil.