How to Make Rendang Ayam / Indonesian Chicken Rendang

Rendang regularly shows up among the list of world’s most delicious food, and if you have ever sink your teeth into the savory, spicy, and slowly braised rendang, you are sure to nod your head in agreement. Beef is probably the more popular rendang, but if you want a quicker meal, chicken rendang is definitely trailing in a close second.

Where is the origin of rendang?

Rendang is the most distinguished dish of the Minang people, and the people of Minang has existed since long before either Indonesia or Malaysia becomes a country. Minang people traveled far and wide, and the rendang that existed today originates from Minang, with slight differences in different regions.

You will hear debates and claims from the two countries that rendang is theirs, but I like to think the Minang will scoff and remind both sides that rendang is theirs, and since there are plenty of Minang descents in both countries, everyone should just shut up and eat their rendang happily.

Rendang Ayam – Indonesian Chicken Rendang

 Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 4


  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, remove the ribs
  • 3 lemongrass, bruised and knotted
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon (~ 25 gram) tamarind + 4 tablespoon hot water, mix into a thick paste and strained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • Spice paste (grind the following together)
  • 100 gram shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5-10 fresh red chilies (use fresno, or bird eye), seeded
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (or 1 inch fresh turmeric)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder


  1. Rub chicken leg quarters with the 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a wok and sauté spice paste, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the chicken leg quarters, and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add coconut milk, water, strained tamarind paste, salt, and sugar. Stir briefly to mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, uncovered, until the sauce is almost dry and clings to the chicken quarters.
  5. Turn off heat. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed white rice.