26 April, 2019
Rendang – Indonesia
Rendang is a dish of Southeast Asian hot meat originating in the Minangkabau village of Indonesia. It has spread throughout Indonesia and the kitchens of neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. One of the characteristic foods of the Minangkabau culture, is served in ceremonial occasions and to honor the guests. The Rendang is also traditionally served between the community of Malaia and the village of Maranao. The Rendang is traditionally prepared by the Minangkabau community on festive occasions such as traditional ceremonies, weddings and Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr).
Although culinary experts often describe Rendang as a curry, Rendang is generally not considered as such in Indonesia, as it is richer and contains less liquid than is normal for Indonesian curries. In 2011 1 online vote of 35,000 people by CNN International chose Rendang as the number one dish of its “world’s most delicious 50 food (readers ‘ selection) ” list. In 2018, Rendang is officially recognized as one of the 5 national dishes of Indonesia.
The cooking technique flourished because of its role in preserving the meat in a tropical climate. Before the cooling technology, this cooking style allowed the preservation of the large amount of meat.
The Rendang is rich in spices. Along with the main ingredient of the meat, Rendang uses coconut milk and a mixed-earth spices paste, including ginger, galangal, saffron leaves, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, chilli and other spices. This mixture of spices is called Pemasak in Minangkabau. Spices, garlic, shallots, ginger and galangal used in Rendang have antimicrobial properties and serve as natural organic preservatives. If cooked properly, dry Rendang can last up to four weeks.
Traditionally, the term Rendang does not refer to a particular type of dish. The verb merendang actually refers to a method of slow cooking; Stir the ingredients continuously in a saucepan or skillet, in a small fire, until all liquids are evaporate and the meat is well made. The traditional Padang Rendang takes hours to cook. The Rendang involves martimentaring and shredding the ingredients, as well as slowly cooking, so it takes a long time and requires patience. The pieces of meat are cooked slowly in coconut milk and spices until almost all the liquid is gone, allowing the meat to become tender and absorb the condiments. The cooking process changes from boiling to frying as the liquid evaporateds. Cooking the meat until the tender with almost all the evaporated liquid requires great care, preventing it from burning. Due to its generous use of numerous spices, Rendang is known for having a unique and complex flavor.
The Rendang is often served with steamed rice, Ketupat (a cake of compressed rice) or lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes), accompanied by vegetable dishes such as the baked yucca leaf, Cubak  (Young Jacai), Col gluttoni and Lado (red or sambal Green peppers).