Indonesian food draws on influences from Indian and Chinese immigrants, merchants and passers-by. The popular Indonesian Rendang curry originates from the island of Sumatra. Here, the local Minangkabau people prepare it with much love and care for important festive occasions such as weddings and traditional ceremonies.
With ingredients such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric leaf, garlic, tamarind, onion and ginger, the Indian influences shine through in this festive curry. All these delicious spices, however, play second fiddle to the main flavours of roasted shallots and toasted coconut. The whole thing is lifted with aromatic lemongrass.
Whilst a traditional Rendang dish is a slow-cooked beef dish that is cooked and caramelized for hours in this spiced sauce until both marry together in a deeply flavourful caramelized dish, our Rendang is more sauce-like so the flavours can also work for other ingredients without the need for prolonged caramelizing. For that traditional Rendang, see the recipe below.