There may be as many versions of rendang as there are good cooks in Sumatra. Here Reno Andam Suri, who produces rendang commercially in Indonesia, celebrates the dish that has spread to surrounding countries in Southeast Asia but retains great importance in its homeland.
Rendang originates with the Minangkabau people, also known as Minang, who offer it to celebrated guests and at feasts and other holidays. Most commonly made from beef or buffalo, it includes a rich mixture of spices, aromatics, and coconut milk, all of which are usually pounded together and cooked slowly until at the final stages almost all the moisture is gone. The result is a tender, very dark mass that keeps well, and is often brought to Minang expatriates longing for a taste of home.
Instead of seeking to be definitive, Suri has relied on Rendang’s strong associations with the passing along of Minang culture during the long hours it requires for preparation. She documents the many spices, the varied ingredients, and the emphasis on the differing aspects of rendang cooking process to profile many styles of rendang in its homeland. Accompanied by beautiful photography of ingredients, markets, cooks at work, and finished dishes, hers is a fascinating book.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.