Intensely aromatic and deeply flavourful, rendang is the stuff true food love is made of. This dish originates from Indonesia but is also widely served among the Malay community. Beef is commonly used for rendang, but chicken is a lighter and equally delicious option.

Rendang is made by slow-cooking meat in coconut milk and a mix of spices. The result is an amazingly tender, fragrant, and delicious thick stew you won’t soon forget. I know I didn’t after I tried this recently! (And that’s in spite of rendang having a bit of heat, which I usually avoid because of reflux).

Rendang is great for family meals and potlucks as it’s easy to double up the recipe to your needs. Its flavour also deepens with each day so it’s great to make ahead, cook in batches, and store for a rainy day. As if those are not enough reasons to try this recipe, rendang also cooks in one pot!

Learn to make this legendary dish that’s been named one of the world’s 50 best foods by CNN.



  • 1 whole chicken, chopped into pieces
  • 410ml coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, sliced lengthways
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Rendang spice paste

  • 10 red chillies, deseeded
  • 15 dried chillies, softened in warm water then drained
  • 10 candlenuts
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 red onions
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, sliced
  • 2cm fresh turmeric
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp of sugar


  1. Blend the spice paste ingredients in a mini food processor.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to the tagine and heat over a low heat until it starts to warm. Add the spice paste and fry until it becomes aromatic.
  3. Add the chicken, lemongrass stalk, and kaffir lime leaves to the tagine. Mix to coat the chicken in the spice paste then add the coconut milk.
  4. Cover the tagine with the lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Use a spatula to stir the rendang. Cover it again and allow to simmer for another 25 minutes or until the oil separates.
  6. Remove the lid and simmer until all the liquid evaporates and only the chicken and spice mix remain.
  7. Serve with steamed white rice and a refreshing cucumber raita on the side.

Recipe adapted from Emile Henry Australia

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Sef Gaspar

Sef is a writer, mum, and Kitchen Warehouse's content manager. She loves storytelling and cooking, which makes this blog the perfect playground.

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