Chicken Rendang

A richly flavoured Indonesian curry from Nancy Lam, seasoned with a wonderfully fragrant mix of exotic spices, coconut, lemon grass and lime leaves.
By Nancy Lam
Chicken Rendang
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 100 g small onions, finely chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 candlenuts or macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 4 slices galangal
  • 1 chicken, weighing about 1.3kg, cut into 12 pieces
  • 4 lime leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400 g tin coconut milk
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • salt

To serve:

  • boiled rice
  • green vegetables


1. Combine the coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, pepper, paprika and sugar in a bowl.

2. Put the lemon grass, onions, garlic, candlenuts, chillies and galangal in a blender and purée until very smooth.

3. Dry-fry the desiccated coconut without any oil until golden brown. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

4. Heat the oil in a sauté pan large enough to take the chicken pieces in a single layer. Add the puréed spices and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring.

5. Add the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring and turning to coat with the spices. Stir in the dry spices, then add the lime leaves, prawn paste, coconut milk and salt to taste. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 15 minutes.

6. Stir in the desiccated coconut. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for another 20 minutes without removing the lid. Serve with rice and plenty of vegetables.

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