Rendang Ayam or Chicken Rendang is one of the speciality and must-have dish during Eid , better known as Hari Raya in Malaysia. When I was growing up, they were only available then, when mom would cook chicken and beef rendang by the kilos (sometimes up to 20!!) to serve family and friends. Refrigerated, they keep well for days too.
Rendang is now available most of the time, not just during Eid. Being the sentimental that I am, I had resisted the idea of eating rendang outside of the festive season!! However in recent years, I have given up resistance LOL. I think part of it is because my children loves them so much. Their grandmother often make rendang for us and we'd always have frozen rations in the refrigerator.
I love my mom's rendang, but have recently discovered another way of preparing it from a colleague, Fatimah. While mom's rendang uses dried red chillies which gives it a deep brown color, this recipe only uses green cili padi. I love this even more (shhhhh...don't tell mom!!).
Here's the recipe!!
1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces (about 1 kg)
(To blend in food processor)
8 stalks lemongrass
6 cloves of garlic
2" galangal or blue ginger
20-30 cili padi (the more, the hotter!!)
3/4 - 1 cup water
40 gm kerisik
300 ml coconut milk (I used packed, low-fat)
1 large turmeric leaf (sliced thin)
6 kaffir lime leaves
Salt and sugar to taste
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Clockwise, from top centre: lemongrass, shallots, garlic, turmeric leaf (under shallots and garlic), cili padi, galangal, ginger, tumeric, kaffir lime leaves.
Below: turmeric leaf sliced thinly. Mom would disapprove of this - she'd cut hers much thinner!
Below: pre-packed kerisik. To make your own, go here.
In a large wok or wide pot, pour processed ingredients, chicken and coconut milk and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil. When the spice and coconut milk mixture turns into a thick, liquid gravy; add kerisik, salt and sugar to taste, kaffir lime leaves and sliced turmeric leaf. Keep on stirring occasionally to avoid gravy from sticking to the wok. As the chicken begins to dry up, add cooking oil and stir for 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Traditionally served with nasi impit during the festive season, rendang is also eaten with warm rice. I love to just have the thick gravy with bread!
This is my second Muhibbah Malaysian Monday post and I can't wait to see the other Malaysian dishes cooked up by participating bloggers during the round-up early next month! Thanks to Shaz of Test with a Skewer and Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies!!