Makcik’s Chicken Rendang (Aunty’s Dry Chicken Curry)


mini-Hari Raya 2009 Beef & Chicken Rendang 001

Good afternoon, dear friends,😀

A few years ago before we moved to this present address, we were staying next door to an elderly Malay couple who were in their 70’s. We became good friends and I had learned to cook many traditional Malay kampung (village) recipes from this Makcik (Malay word for “aunty”).

Below is the unique recipe from her, and I have cooked this a few times and it will blow your socks off because it is so delicious. I find that these days it is difficult to find such good rendang.😉

Ingredients :-

10 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemon grass/serai, smashed for flavour
1 cm ginger
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
sugar to taste
lots of pepper
1 tsp chili paste or 3 fresh chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric
500g chicken, chopped (or mutton, beef, cubed)
1 cup coconut milk

2 kaffir lime leaves

1 turmeric leaf

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup pounded kerisik (dry roasted dessicated coconut that is golden brown and very fragrant)

Method :-

1) Blend onion, garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric and chili paste until smooth.

2) Heat oil in wok and add blended mixture. Stir fry for 5 minutes or until paste separates from the oil.

3) Add chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes.

4) Add kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaf and coconut milk and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender, adding a bit more coconut milk as necessary to keep sauce from drying and burning.

5) Add the coconut kerisik when the meat is almost tender, like 10 minutes before finish.

You have to keep stirring frequently to avoid burning. When the meat is tender and the sauce is almost dry, remove from heat. Serve with any type of rice or bread.

Note – This portion of the recipe that I have written here is very small. For my family’s size, I will cook 4 times the amount of this recipe and keep the rendang in the fridge for a few days…..warming up in small quantities for eating.😉

Serve this with Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) or with plain white rice, or eat with bread! Then wash the meal down with a cup of iced lemon tea! Yummy!!

Bon Appetite!


46 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    yen1908 said,

    Hi choesf

    Wow, another delicious looking recipe! Where can I buy kerisik? Only from the Malay stalls? None at my area, so how? Make it myself?

    Hey, I would like to try this out soon! Thanks for sharing your recipe!😆 😀


  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Good evening to you, yen😀

    Here in KL, we can buy ready made kerisik from those stalls (Malay and Chinese) that sell grated coconut and santan/milk. But I like to make my own kerisk cos then it’s fresher.

    For making kerisik, I will buy RM1 of good quality grated coconut. Then dry roast it over medium fire in a wok or non-stick pan. Stirring frequently, until golden. Cool down and then pound with a pestle and mortar or grind in a food processor. But the pounding is better as it will release the oils. It is a lot of work… can buy kerisik.😉

    Actually my recipe uses those ground wet spices that we can buy from the Indian curry spice stalls – I use RM2 worth in place of the meat curry powder…..but I adjusted this recipe for those overseas who can’t buy the wet curry spices.😀

    Bon Appetit,



  3. 3

    Tina said,

    Hi Choesf,

    Your recipe is really delicious & the fragrance dashes to my neighbour’s houses.

    Rendang is cooked with coconut juice so i was wondering what is the maximum days we can store in the freezer?
    As coconut is easy to ”basi” (spoil).

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.




  4. 4

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there and welcome, Tina,😀

    I am very happy to receive good feedback from you on this dish. Hehe…I always enjoy the yummy smell of food coming from my neighbours, and therefore, I bet they love your Rendang aroma, too.😆

    Well, once you have cooked the kerisik and the santan/coconut milk for quite a long time like in this recipe, it doesn’t spoil as easily as the other coconut dishes. So, the rendang dish can actually keep quite well, up to a week in the refrigerator/chiller. What I did was to take out the portion I want to serve for one meal and heat that up on the stove or microwave oven.

    I’m not sure how long that this can be kept in the freezer as I have not tried doing that, my rendang gets finished in 2 days!😆 But in my personal opinion, if you cool down the rendang before freezing it in airtight containers, it should keep up to one month.😉

    Have a great weekend, Tina!

    Much peace and joy,



  5. 5

    Tina said,

    Hi Choesf,

    Thanks for the fast reply & your good advise.

    If you do have any new recipes please do alert me okay? =P

    Till then take care & u too have a great weekend ahead!




  6. 6

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    You are very welcome, Tina.😀 Okay, I will let you know whenever I have posted new recipes….hehe, I just posted a few recipes recently and the latest was posted a few minutes ago for my Special Garlic Bread. Check out the recent posts on the sidebar at the right of this page.😉




  7. 7

    everlyn said,

    Hi Choesf,

    You given a gr8 recipe and found easy to make but unfourtunately u forget to tell us addng salt and sugar.:)


  8. 8

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear everlyn😀

    Thank you for pointing that out. Actually, I have the salt and sugar in my ingredients list but I forgot to mention them in the cooking method. Season the rendang to taste at the end of cooking.😉

    With peace and joy,



  9. 9

    Quinn said,

    When do you add the serai?



  10. 10

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there, dear Quinn😀

    I missed out the serai instructions😳 – just add it when frying the pounded ingredients.

    For my Hari Raya Festival 2009 brunch, I had followed a different recipe and the rendang was the best I ever cooked – I will be writing about it soon!😉

    With best wishes,



  11. 11

    Quinn said,

    Thanks, hopefully you can post that up soon for people like me who have to celebrate Raya in Australia😦


  12. 13

    KM said,

    Just to let you know that I used your recipe to make chicken rendang on Saturday and it was DELICIOUS😀 Thank you so much. Your recipe however doesn’t mention instruction to put lemon grass so I almost forgot to put it in but hardly a big deal. I accidentaly put too much turmeric and had to call my mom at 12am Msian time to ask her how to rescue it as it tasted very bitter (she told me to put more coconut cream and some sugar).

    I will definitely use your recipe again!😀 Thanks so much again…



    • 14

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear KM😀

      Thank you for trying out this recipe. I’m glad you like the taste.😀

      I will go back and edit this recipe to reflect the lemon grass instructions.😳 You mom sure had a good tip on how to remedy the excess turmeric.💡

      I used another Rendang recipe for this Hari Raya (2009) and my family all agreed that this was the best rendang tasted that I have ever cooked (I made both Chicken and Beef Rendang). I will post this recipe later today.😉

      Do have a lovely week ahead!

      With best wishes,



  13. 15

    BB said,

    i love spicy dishes, been go through yr rendang chicken, will try it, please send me more recipe. By the way, do u have chinese wording recipe. Thanks


    • 16

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear BB😀

      I’m sorry I don’t know how to write or read Chinese…😳 However, you can use Google Translate. I have tried another Rendang Recipe last month and it was the best I have ever cooked… READ HERE. I also have some curry recipes….if you type in the word “curry” in the Search box at the top right hand corner of this page, you will find some recipes there.😉

      Happy cooking!

      With best wishes,



  14. 17

    Seraphina said,

    Hi there!

    I would like to say a big thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I moved to Australia and I’m always missing the traditional Malay cuisine from Singapore – this recipe is so authentic and delicious! I’m getting great reviews from my family!

    Thanks so much again and I’ll be looking through your blog for more Malay recipes like this!
    You’re a gem!

    Best Wishes,



    • 18

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Seraphina😀

      Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad this recipe turned out well for you and you became the “star of the show”. ** two thumbs up**

      This recipe is very traditional because this elderly Malay lady gave me the instructions verbally as how she would cook it for each Hari Rays and I was jotting down everything quickly on my notepad!😆

      Alas, I think she has moved away because when I went back to that neighbourhood, different people were staying there. I kind of miss her because she was such a motherly, friendly lady, living alone with her husband. I used to call her “Makcik Sham”.😉

      This is the only recipe I got from a Malay makcik, the other recipes were adapted from cookbooks.😳

      Do have a lovely weekend!

      With best wishes,



  15. 19

    Boon Jin said,

    Hi Choesf,

    I’ve been thinking. I have a problem with santan… but I love rendang. Could I cook it with cow’s milk instead?



    • 20

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Boon😀

      I’m sorry I can’t give you an answer as I have not tried cooking rendang with milk before.😳 But I have heard of people cooking curries with milk. Perhaps, you can add a little milk and see how it goes.💡

      With best wishes,



      • 21

        Boon Jin said,

        Hallo Choesf,

        I tried it with milk, actually used around 3 to 4 hundred ml of it… and simmered it for around 1 hour. It was good!🙂

        I used your recipe, but I couldn’t get the kerisik… and I used a mortar instead of a food processor… it was quite a bit of work, and I hope my neighbor downstairs won’t file a complain! hahahah

        Thanks again!


      • 22

        happyhomemaker88 said,

        Hello there, dear Boon Jin😀

        I’m glad you milk substitution turned out to be a success for this recipe.😉

        Yes, using a mortar to get the kerisik is even better as the aromatic oils of the roasted coconut will be released. I like to pound mine in a mortar, too.

        Thank you for posting your feedback on using milk for rendangs.💡

        With best wishes,



  16. 23

    susan said,

    This is first time i cook rendang ayam. I didn’t try before. But l really like to thank you for sharing this recipe. My girls like it very much especially my hubby. Anyway thanks a lot.

    Thanks again for the recipe,



    • 24

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Susan😀

      Thank you for sharing your feedback on this recipe. I’m glad it turned out superb for you. Heheh, now you can cook this rendang ayam anytime easily for your family.😉

      With best wishes,



  17. 25

    Shirley Oh said,

    Hi Choesf,

    May I know what you meant ‘pepper’ in this recipe? Black pepper? in powder form? I was searching for Rendang Chicken recipe and found yours, looks yummy! I am going to try today. This is my first time cooking Rendang Chicken.

    Thank you & Best Regards


    • 26

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Shirley😀

      Sorry for the late reply as I was busy with some guests staying with my family.😳

      The pepper can be either white or black, depending on what you have then and your preference. 💡 Hope your first Rendang Chicken turn out great!😉

      With best wishes,



  18. 27

    Shirley Oh said,

    Dear Choesf,

    Thank you for your reply! Me too very busy….! like to cook, ‘tham chiak’ as well.

    Anyway, just to tell you that I cooked 2 chicken on 19/6/2011 for lunch and dinner. My husband and kids like it so much! They ate with rice and tea time with bread..hahaha! yumyumyummy!

    Ya, read your recipes with Beef Rendang and Chicken for Hari Raya. Were they IMPROVED version? Slight different..?

    Thank you very much.

    Best Regards


    • 28

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Good afternoon, dear Shirley😀

      I’m so happy that your cooking was a success and your family loved your Chicken Rendang!😀 Yes, the rendang goes very well with rice or bread. It actually tastes better the next day!

      Yes, my 2 Hari Raya Beef and Chicken Rendang recipes were an improved version with a “sharper” and more aromatic taste. This rendang recipe here is a milder one which I believe is similar to the Perak version of Rendang Tok. I know there are so many versions of Rendang in Malaysia. One thing is for sure….after I know how to cook rendang at home, the ones sold at the Ramadan Bazaars are just not as good. Maybe it’s because they cook the rendang in bulk.😆

      Take care and do have a wonderful week ahead!

      With best wishes,



  19. 29

    Saemila said,

    Dear Homemaker,

    I have always followed your recipe for chicken rendang and it is the best. I can’t seem to find that recipe anymore. In that recipe you used 100g of cummin, corriander, fennel and pepper seeds. I really want to use this recipe again. I bookmarked the page but now it just shows page not found.


    • 30

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Saemila😀

      Heheh, I had hidden that post earlier the day before Hari Raya as I preparing to cook some rendangs for my husband’s party and I thought it may be too confusing to have too many recipes here in rendangs.😳

      The recipe is back already! I’m glad you like that recipe.😉

      With best wishes,



  20. 31

    Darlene said,

    I have cooked this recipe before and I LOVED it. It tasted just like the wonderful Rendang we could get when we lived in Ipoh, Malaysia for 4 years. It is so good i am cooking it again. I even take the time to go to the Asian Market here in NH,USA to get Kaffir Lime leaves. It adds a very authentic flavor to the recipe. I will check out your site now for a good Sambal recipe! Malaysia Boleh!


    • 32

      Hi there, dear Darlene😀

      Thank you for your feedback on this recipe. I’m glad you can find the ingredients where you live and can cook this dish easily. Heheh, I don’t think I have a sambal recipe….maybe you can do a search at the top of this page for my “Nasi Lemak Lunch” and see if there is one in that post.😉

      With best wishes,



  21. 33

    MichelleW said,

    Hi choesf,

    I would like to try to this receipe, but i’m afraid, I can’t get tumeric leave here in Melbourne. Can I replace this ingredient with something else?

    Thanks in advance.



    • 34

      Hi there, dear MichelleW😀

      It’s okay, you can omit the turmeric leaf if you can’t find that in the Melbourne stores. Putting more coconut milk will make the rendang richer and more aromatic.💡

      With best wishes,



  22. 35

    W said,

    Hi, the chicken rending looks so yum. I will try to make it. I am wondering whether I can replace turmeric leave with something else?



    • 36

      Hi there, dear W😀

      Yes, this is a very simple to cook and yet very delicious, rustic rendang. If you can’t find turmeric leaf, you can omit that altogether, your rendang will still taste good. Perhaps, you can add a little more turmeric (powder or fresh root) instead.💡

      With best wishes,



  23. 37

    Pauline said,

    hi what type of pepper? TQ


  24. 39

    Hans said,

    approximately how much is a cup of coconut milk is, in terms of ml?


  25. 41

    Jameela Cassim said,

    can we keep this dish out for more than two days, or will it get spoilt?


    • 42

      Hi there, dear Jameela😀

      So far, I have not kept any rendangs out for more than 2 days…I would refrigerate mine at night and warm them up the next day for consumption. I am always afraid of food going bad in our hot and humid weather.😳

      With best wishes,



  26. 43

    Melissa said,

    Hello, this recipe looks soo yummy and I would like to give it a try to cook it myself soon!

    Just one question as I am always confused. the recipe did not mention needing to put in any curry powder, so i assume that is not required at all, right?
    And for chili paste, will any chili paste do?


  27. 46

    […] Makcik’s chicken rendang (aunty’s dry chicken curry […]


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