Indonesian Food - Rendang - Rendang is one of Minangkabau (an ethnic goup in West Sumatra Province, Indonesia) traditional dishes that use meat and coconut milk as a main ingredient and enriched with spices. Rendang, a dish with a spicy flavor is favored by the Indonesian community, and can be found all over the Padang Restaurant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries. This dish is sometimes better known as Rendang Padang, but rendang is Minang cuisine in general.

Rendang is a dish containing rich spices. Generally, beef is the basic ingredient for making Rendang. But today, people also makes rendang with chicken. Besides beef, all you need to make Rendang are coconut milk and a blend of various ground spices, consisting of chili paste, galangal, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, onions, turmeric, and other various spices. The specificity of rendang is the use of natural ingredients that act as natural preservatives which able to kill pathogenic bacteria. Galangal, garlic, ginger and shallots are known to have strong antimicrobial activity. It makes sense, the rendang can be store for 1 to 4 weeks.

Cooking Rendang

rendangThe proper process of cooking rendang can spend hours (between four to eight hours). Therefore, it needs patience to cook rendang. The pieces of meat (beef0 are cooked with spices and coconut milk in a proper fire, stirring gently until the coconut milk and seasoning absorbed by the meat. After boiling, the fire diminished and continue stirring until the milk thickens and becomes dry. Cooking rendang should be patient and painstaking to keep watch, always carefully to turn meat again and again in order to coconut milk drying and spices totally absorbed, without scorch or break the meat. The cooking process is known in the modern culinary as 'caramelization'. Because it uses many types of condiments, rendang is known to have a complex and unique flavor.

rendangBased on the content of coconut milk solution, there are three types of rendang, the most gravy, medium and the driest: Curry, Kalio and Rendang. By this definition, the true rendang is containing lowest sauce. But it is generally known there are two kinds of rendang: dry rendang and wet rendang.

Dry Rendang

rendangDry rendang is the true rendang in the tradition of culinary cooking of Minangkabau. Rendang is cooked in long hours to dry the coconut milk and spices to perfectly absorbed by meat. Dry rendang served for special events, such as traditional ceremonies, feast, or a welcome guest of honor. Dry rendang is usually darker in color (dark brown). If cooked properly, dry rendang can be stored at room temperature for three to four weeks. It can even last up to more than a month if stored in the refrigerator, and six months if frozen. Some have argued that the original Minang flavor rendang is the most delicious and incontestably, different from rendang in several areas of Malay.

Wet Rendang

Wet rendang or Kalio, is rendang that cooked in less time, the coconut milk is not yet drying perfectly, and at room temperature can only be stored in less than a week. Wet rendang colored light golden brown and paler.

rendangRendang is also known in neighboring countries of Indonesia, such as Malaysia and Singapore. Rendang that found in Malaysia is more like kalio,moist and paler in color, with no strong flavor. Malaysian rendang which is called rendang Kelantan and rendang Negeri Sembilan have differences with Indonesian rendang. The cooking process of rendang in Malaysia, is shorter and does thickening mixed spice with kerisik (roasted grated coconut), not by the process of cooking over low heat for hours. Due to historical linkages through colonization, rendang also be found in the Netherlands, in the form Kalio, but is generally served as one part of the Rijsttafel dishes.

In 2011, rendang was chosen as the first rank in the list of World's 50 Most Delicious Foods, based on an online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN International.

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