Chicken Rendang

Traditionally a Minangkabau (Indonesia) dish, variations of rendang are now found throughout Indonesia and Malaysia. This rich and flavourful chicken rendang is simple yet delicious. Beef or mutton may be used instead, according to your preference.

4.8 stars

Preparation 25 mins
Cooking 60 mins


Rendang Ayam

Malay, Malaysian, Singaporean, Bruneian, Indonesian

Nyonya Cooking on Facebook
Nyonya Cooking on Pinterest
Nyonya Cooking on Twitter

Nutrition per Serving

490 kcal
37 g
27 g
30 g

'Rendang' is a traditional Minangkabau dish. Over the centuries, this dish has been adapted to local cooking cultures and is now no longer only found in Indonesia but also available in neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

The time taken to cook rendang is much longer than cooking curries as it thrives when cooked slowly. This rendang recipe has been shared by a Malay neighbour of mine using very simple ingredients which are easily found.

Check out the comments and you will agree this is the rendang recipe that you have to try. The key to good rendang is quality ingredients besides its cooking technique. The tips are shared below:

Chicken rendang, beef rendang or mutton rendang

You may use chicken breast for rendang. However, the best part for rendang would be its thigh. Feel free to substitute chicken meat with either beef or mutton, according to your preference.

We have an authentic beef rendang dish, get the recipe! The steps are explained in detail and you'll get all the tips you need for the best tasting beef rendang.

beef rendang
beef rendang

Get beef rendang recipe.

What is in rendang powder or rendang paste?

Rendang paste or powder consists of chillies, galangal, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, kerisik and sometimes other spices as well. If you want to achieve the ultimate flavours, it is best to saute the aromatics according to this sequence: lemongrass, garlic, shallots and finally, chillies. Ensure that each ingredient is sauteed until fragrant before adding the next.


Kerisik is made by dry frying grated coconut (fresh or frozen) over medium heat until it browns. It is then pounded until it releases oil and creates a paste. Using dessicated coconut as a substitute will not result in a paste. Instead, it will only be in a powder form which is absolutely acceptable too.


Non-spicy rendang

There are a few ways to reduce the spiciness of the rendang. The first method is the handling of the chillies. Process the chillies by removing the membranes and seeds to reduce the heat. Learn more how to remove chillies membranes and make them less spicy.


Besides that, adding coconut milk helps as well.

Dry or wet rendang

In the video, you would noticed that there was not much gravy in the dish. If you want the rendang with more gravy, add in some water or more coconut milk. Allow it to simmer until the desired consistency. Do note that coconut milk will reduce the spiciness and makes the appearance of the rendang much lighter.

Slow cooker rendang

You may cook chicken rendang using a slow cooker. Simply put all the blended ingredients, meat, coconut milk and water into the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours. The chicken rendang would be succulent and tender.

What to serve with chicken rendang

Serve this with Nasi Lemak, the popular Malaysian dish, white rice or noodles. Other dishes which would pair well with rendang are acar awak, fish in asam curry and teh tarik.

To many, cooking rendang seems daunting and complicated. Do not be intimidated for this is a simple version. Trust me, this is delicious.


50 g
coconut desiccated
fresh chilli (red)
lemongrass stalk(s)
4 cm
garlic clove(s)
3 tbsp
3 cm
450 g
chicken meat
150 ml
coconut milk
200 ml
kaffir lime leaves

Steps to Prepare

Chicken Rendang Step 1

Step 1 of 5

    • 50 g coconut desiccated

In a dry and clean pan, toast desiccated or grated coconut over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from pan. Pound grated coconut until oil is released. If using desiccated coconut, it should be pounded finely.

Chicken Rendang Step 2

Step 2 of 5

    • 10 fresh chilli (red)
    • 3 lemongrass stalk(s)
    • 4 cm galangal
    • 2 shallot(s)
    • 4 garlic clove(s)
    • 3 tbsp oil
    • 3 cm ginger

Blend fresh chillies, galangal, garlic, shallots and lemongrass stalks finely. Heat up a pan with oil over medium to high heat and cook the blended ingredients until fragrant.

Chicken Rendang Step 3

Step 3 of 5

    • 450 g chicken meat

Add toasted desiccated coconut. Mix evenly. Then, add chicken meat and stir-fry over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Chicken Rendang Step 4

Step 4 of 5

    • 150 ml coconut milk
    • 200 ml water
    • salt

Add coconut milk. For more gravy, add some water or more coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Cook until gravy thickens.

Chicken Rendang Step 5

Step 5 of 5

    • 3 kaffir lime leaves

Shortly before dishing out, add kaffir lime leaves. Mix well and serve hot.

Published: January 17, 2014

5 Discussions

a year ago


Hi! Bit confused about using ginger as it’s used in the video, but not in the printed recipe?

a year ago


Hi Luke, do you mean galangal? It's used in Step 2.

a year ago


Thanks for getting back to me Grace! I can see galangal in the recipe, thanks, but in the video you also mention ginger?! I ended up putting both in and it tasted good! :)

a year ago


My bad! You are right here. Missed the ingredient in the steps. Apologies. Glad you added ginger too. Don't forget to upload your food snap too. ;)

Jean Wong
3 years ago

Jean Wong

I doubled the recipe quantity, substituted galangal with extra ginger (couldn't find it) and followed the instruction to make it saucy with lots of drumsticks. It was flavour kapow! I did use a food processor which made the texture ever so slightly grainy. I'll have to try a bullet blender next time. The saucy version makes a lot of sauce so I served it with Roti when i was down to only a few pieces of chicken left. It was a hit! This recipe is a keeper.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
3 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

What a lovely feedback! I'm happy that this recipe was really enjoyable for you. Have you tried the beef rendang recipe? That will be an upgrade to this recipe ;)

Jean Wong
3 years ago

Jean Wong

Thanks Mira. I'll give that a go too :)

Tina Er
4 years ago

Tina Er

Can I use pressure cooker? Do I need to reduce water? Cooking time 15mins?

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
4 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Yes, with the same amount of ingredients. 10 minutes should be sufficient. If not, you can extend to 15 minutes.

Gordon Cowan
4 years ago

Gordon Cowan

During ISO it is hard to get lemongrass. I cooked a couple of whole lemon and lime leaves in my last rendang. I have a kaffir lime tree for the chopped leaf. Result was pretty good.

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
4 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Sounds fantastic. I imagine the flavours to turn out beautifully with the extra zest.

Carrie Yuen
4 years ago

Carrie Yuen

I replace pork ribs in the Chicken Rendang recipe because someone in my family cannot eat chicken. I also make Nasi Lemak and eat with Pork Rib Rendang,

Give us your opinion! Log in and start posting.