Asian recipes/ Chicken/ Curry/ Dinner/ One-pot recipes

Rendang Ayam Padang – Cococnut Chicken Rendang

26 May 2024

If you know me at all you know I’m nuts about Indonesian food. We’ve been there on many travels and mainly the food keeps bringing us back. Such a rich, tasty, spicy cuisine, it really hits the spot. This is a Padang style chicken rendang, originally from West Sumatra.

I usually make beef rendang, slow cooked beef in a thick coconut gravy. Yum! but when you’re in a bit of a time squeeze chicken rendang is a great alternative and oh so tasty! With a few basic Asian ingredients in your pantry or freezer you can easily create this dish on any week day.

In my freezer: peppers, ginger, galangal, lime leaves, lemom grass, bay leaves
Dried spices: turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, koriander, cardemom, white pepper, cloves, cinnamon, star anise
Seasoning: tamarinde paste
Fresh: peppers, shallots, garlic, lime juice

Recipe inspired by @whattocooktoday

Rendang Ayam Padang

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Dinner Indonesian, Sumatra
By Saffron Serves: 4 + leftovers
Prep Time: 35 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes


  • Main ingredeints
  • 1.5 kg chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (left whole)
  • 3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 120 g unsweetened grated coconut
  • Spice paste
  • 5 Long Red Peppers
  • 2 Thai chil (Leave out if you don't want it to spicy)
  • 6 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic peeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 cm ginger peeled
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Dried Spices:
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp galangal powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • Whole spices
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 stalk lemon grass, crushed
  • 6 lime leaves
  • Seasonings (to taste)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Juice of 1 lime (start with 1/2)



In a heavy based pan (which you'll use for the rendang too) add the coconut and toast until nice a browned. Keep stirring and keep an eye on ot, it will go quite quickly towards the end. ± 3 minutes. remove from the pan and set aside (you can make this ahead of time).


Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste (so NOT the dried spics) into a coarse paste.


Heat the oil in a heavy based pot and add the spice paste. Cook until fragrant and the water has evaporated, don't let it burn, ± 3 minutes.


Then add of the dried spices, the whole spices and half of the seasonings to start. Mix well, sauté for 1 minutes.


Add the chicken pieces, mix well so all the chicken is coated.


Deglaze the pan with the water and coconut milk.


Bring to a boil and let it gently simmer with the lid on, after about 15 minutes you'll see the oils start to separate a bit (don't worry if you don't see this). Add the toasted coconut, stir and continue to cook on low heat with the lid off until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced slightly.


I like mine quite saucy so I don't reduce it too much.


Serve with steamed white rice, pickled cucumber and sambal goreng for example.

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