Monday, April 07, 2014

Delicious Indonesian Food

Picture 1.1 Rendang
As you know, Indonesia has a lot of culture, race and ethnic. Every ethnic in Indonesia has their own recipes and foods that suite with their culture. Indonesia's food taste are unique, every food represent their own province and their island. Now I'm going to tell you one of the most delicious Indonesian food called Rendang. Rendang is a spicy meat dish which founded by people in Minangkabau, one of ethnic group in Indonesia. This traditional food place a 1st rank in "World's 50 Best Foods", a polling that given to people in social media by

History of Rendang

Rendang's recipe was originally written in the 19th century, but according to statement that has been given by historian from Andalas University, Gusti Asnan, Rendang has been found in the 16th century. As stated from the literature that has been written in the 19 century, when people in Minangkabau decided to go to strait of Malacca, they prepared a food that can't  getting stale easily. So they make a long lasting food namely Rendang.

Long time ago, when people in Minang want to make a long lasting food, they preserve the food with curing and drying method. This traditional method done by cooking it for a long time. As wrote in the article "Sejarah Asal-Usul Masakan/Makanan Rendang" taken from Gusti Asnan, historian from Andalas University said "If we look the process of making Rendang, it takes a long time to make it, and it cooked until the sauce is drying". Just for your information, "Rendang" is taken from the Indonesian words "merandang" means cook the coconut milk until its slowly dried. Rendang recipes also use spices that come from India. This spices borrowed by people from India who commuting to Sumatera west beach in the 13th-14th century. Other speculation said that Curry is the forerunner of Rendang. Gusti agree with that statement and said that can be possible because Indian people  bring and eat Curry when they having a trade contact with people in Minangkabau.

Philosophy of Rendang

Picture 2.1.1 Minang people carry the Rendang using their head
Rendang in Minangkabau has a cultural meanings and it has a respectable position in the Minangkabau culture. Rendang has its own philosophy for the Minang people in West Sumatera namely "Musyawarah dan Mufakat" (discussion and agreement). Which departs from the four staples that symbolize Minang society in overall. There are 4 staple that represent Minang people: 1) Meat (beef): a symbol of "Niniak Mamak" (tribal leaders). 2) Karambia (coconut): is a symbol of "Cadiak Pandai" (Intelectual people). 3) Lado (chili): is a symbol of cleric "Alim Ulama", which is firmly teach the religion. 4) Cookers and spices (seasoning): is a symbol of the Minangkabau society.

Rendang Nowadays

Nowadays, Rendang can be found easily in every city in Indonesia. The popularity of Rendang increase because the migration of Minangkabau people who bring the recipes of Rendang to every city that they live now. Another reason why this food become popular is because the spread of Padang restaurants that can be found across the street and inside the malll. Not only adult, but also teenagers loves to eat Padang food. In some region, they choose Rendang with rice as their daily food.
Picture 2.2.1 Nasi Ramas Padang, Rendang served with steamed rice,
cassava leaf, egg, and gulai sauce. Popular menu in Padang Restaurant.

Variations of Rendang
There are two types of Rendang in Indonesia, Dried Rendang and Wet Rendang (Kalio). Dried Rendang is type of Rendang that dries for a long time until the sauce is drying. Nowadays, dried Rendang still used for special ceremonial occasions or to honour guests. In the article "Wiliam Wongso: Duta Rendang di Dunia Kuliner Indonesia" taken from It is said that if cooked properly, dried Rendang can last for three to four weeks stored in room temperature and still good to consume. It can even last  for a couple of months if stored in a refrigerator, and up to six months if frozen. In the other hand, Wet Rendang or you can call it "Kalio" is type of Rendang that cooked for a shorter period of time and did not make a coconut milk liquid over evaporated. Kalio usually has a light golden brown color, paler than dry Rendang.
Picture 3.1 Dried Rendang
Picture 3.2 Wet Rendang or Kalio
Rendang is frequently served with steamed rice, ketupat (a compressed rice cake), or lemang (glutinous rice barbecued in bamboo tubes), accompanied with vegetable side dishes such as boiled cassava leaf, cubadak (young jack fruit gulai), cabbage gulai, and lado (red or green chili pepper sambal). Besides that, Indonesia also has other type of Rendang, some people in Minangkabau use eel and chicken for the meat. Jack fruit Rendang, Cattle Liver Rendang, Marsh Clam Rendang, Tofu Rendang, Duck Rendang, Cattle Lung Rendang, Banana Blossom Rendang, and Rendang Tempe are also variations of Rendang in Indonesia.
Picture 3.3 Rendang Belut (Eel Rendang)
Picture 3.4 Rendang Tahu (Tofu Rendang)
Picture 3.5 Rendang Cubadak (Jackfruit Rendang)
Picture 3.6 Rendang Lo Kan (Marsh Clam Rendang)
Picture 3.7 Rendang Hati Tok (Cattle Liver Rendang)
Picture 3.8 Rendang Dendeng Jantung Pisang (Banana Blossom Rendang)
Picture 3.9 Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)
Picture 3.10 Rendang Tempe 
Picture 3.11 Rendang Itik (Duck Rendang)
Picture 3.12 Rendang Paru (Cattle Lung Rendang)
How to Make Rendang
If you want to make Rendang, you have to use many Indonesian ingredients or other spices that suite with the taste of Rendang. Making of Rendang is not as easy as you thought, you have to know so well what is it and is the ingredients available on your country or not. But don't worry, I can show you how to make this delicious food and what the ingredients are. This is recipes from Mrs Anita that showing the ingredients and instruction of making Rendang, as has been written in the article "Rendang Sapi Padang - Padang Style Beef Rendang taken from and written by Anita.

Rendang Ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram of beef shank or chuck (Indonesian: daging sengkel atau sandung lamur), cut into 2 inch by 2 inch cubes
  • 2 liter water
  • 300 ml thick coconut milk (Indonesian: santan kental)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 5 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 4 lemon grass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised
  • 2 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas), peeled and bruised
  • 2 asam kandis. Asam kandis can be substituted with asam gelugor (same amount) or tamarind (about 10 gram)
Grind the following into spice paste:
  • 30 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 10 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 100 gram red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 10 candle nuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 2 inches ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 2 inches turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Put all ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat a bit (still above simmering point) and left the pot uncovered. Cook until the liquid is reduced and thickened.
  3. Once the liquid has thickened, reduce the heat and simmer until all the liquid is almost gone and the beef looks a bit dark.
  4. Remove from heat and serve hot or at room temperature.
If the ingredients are difficult to find, you can buy it in store that sells spices from India or Indonesia, (Note: you can use lamb or mutton for the meat). You also can buy the spice from Indonesian or Indian food store that available in your country. Other option if you can't find spices from India and Indonesia, you can use spices and seasoning from your country (Note: if that matched or has a same taste and flavour.)
I hoped you enjoy my article about Indonesian cuisine today and if you want to know more about food in Indonesia, just visit Indonesia and welcome to the food paradise ! A place that did not allowed your stomach empty.

Image Sources
(Note: I do not own these image or photo, every image in this post are taken from their original website. I do not use these image for promotion, these image actually use just for the education purpose only)