Rendang is a traditional food from West Sumatra originally prepared by the Minangkabau people. Rendang is commonly made with beef (especially tenderloin) with a special sauce containing a high amount of coconut milk and various herbs and spices. The rendang spice mix typically contains black pepper, cassia, coriander, cumin, fennel, galangal, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, and turmeric. The Minangkabau people used this mixture of spices for their glorious taste and to help maintain long shelf life for the meal.
The History of Rendang
In modern times, rendang is a typical dish loved by many worldwide – though the history of this tasty dish is often given less attention.
It is believed that Indian curry influenced how the Minangkabau people created the first beef rendang. Dutch archives about Minangkabau people indicate regular contacts between India and West Sumatra in the early second millennium – suggesting that north Indian curry was possibly the rendang's precursor. Some believe that the Minangkabau people adapted Indian curry. The Minangkabau people cooked the curry further and further and continued the cooking process until the curry thickened and became rendang.
The dish holds great cultural significance in Indonesia – especially during the Indonesian National Revolution in 1946. To boost the morale of republic freedom fighters, first lady Fatmawati sent them beef rendang, though when preparing the meal, her house staff declined to get ingredients for her. The pregnant Fatmawat insisted on buying beef and went to the market herself to purchase it.
The popularity of rendang spread quickly over the region because of the migrating culture of the Minangkabau people.
Nowadays, you will see the delicious dish appear on menus worldwide, and more and more Westerners try their recipe at home. If you would like to try the dish in your home with a tried and tested recipe, then the Leena Spice Rendang Spice is an excellent place to start.