800 g chicken, cut to curry size pieces
5 tablespoons cooking oil (may have used more)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds )
6 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
2 lemongrass sticks (bruised but in shape)
(1 tablespoon sugar/palm sugar or to taste- did not use, as liked the taste without the sweetness)
(6 kaffir lime leaves very finely sliced- did not use, as couldn't find them in the market)
Salt to taste
1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch long)
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 inch galangal (substituted it with some extra ginger)
4 lemongrass (white part only)
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
10-12 dried chilies (soaked in warm water till soft and seeded)
1. To make the kerisik- grate coconut, and toast it in a pan by constantly stirring to make it an even dark golden brown (refer to pic, though it's about half way done). Wait for it to cool, then run the blender on it so you get a brown powder that looks something like brown sugar.
2. To make the coconut milk- add grated coconut to the blender and powder it down. Then add warm water to the blended coconut. Squeeze out the milk using hands, over a sieve.
3. To make the chili- Boil some hot water and drop the chilies in it. In about ten minutes you will find them soft, snip off the top and run your fingers along the chili to remove the seeds. Keep aside.
5. Add the oil into a pan. Add the dry spices when oil is hot, stir for about ten seconds before adding the paste. Fry by stirring constantly, until the oil separates from the paste. This should take about a minute to two. At this point, i found that I added more oil that the recipe's recommended amount.
6. Add the chicken and the bruised lemon grass, and stir the paste with the chicken. Leave it to fry for about 3 minutes, with constant stirring to prevent the anything from sticking onto the pan.
7. Add coconut milk, kaffir leaves, sugar, tamarind and water to the pan, stirring it in to make an even mixture. Add some salt, about two a teaspoon. Turn the flame to low and let the chicken cook through. Rendang is a semi-dry dish, so the mixture needs to be boiled down to a gravy consistency.
8. Once that has happened, add the kerisik to blend into the dish and fry till the gravy has dried.
9. Serve hot with rice :) Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the finished product, planned on getting a pic this morning but it got emptied out last night. That can't be a bad thing! Flicked this picture from this site. It was the closest to what I'd made, and well there's another recipe there if you follow the site.
Note: The only thing I found lacking in the recipe is that there wasn't enough pow from the lemon grass, and hence the dish in itself is less fragrant. I'm not sure if this could be because the lemon grass that I had bought was not as fresh or because the recipe uses too less of it. When I make this again, I will most definitely add more of it... probably double the quantities or something. Do give it a try, I'll leave you with a slightly different recipe, that has a video as well. This looks like a promising recipe too.