Beef rendang (Padang beef) is one of the five major national dishes in Indonesia. In 2011 and 2017, it was ranked No. 1 in the "CNN" Top 50 Foods in the World, which shows that the world is fascinated by rendang. Rendang is a transliteration from the Indonesian word "Rendang", which is often called "dry curry" in Chinese. Originating from Provinsi Sumatera Barat, Indonesia, its capital is Padang , and the local aborigines are Suku Minangkabau , also known as "Padang", belonging to the Malay ethnic group. Written records of rendang first appeared in a Malay literary work , Hikayat Amir Hamzah , published in 1550 . Rendang in Indonesian evolved from "Randang". In the language of the Minangkabau people, "Rendang" does not refer to the name of the dish, but to the cooking technique, which means putting coconut. The pulp is simmered over low heat until it becomes dry and black, and over time, it has become the name of the dish today. Cooking rendang requires patience.
For Minangkabau people, rendang represents the harmony of the tribe: beef symbolizes elders, priests, coconuts represent scholars or people of insight, chili peppers represent religious masters, and they inherit religion with a rigorous spirit. Faith, the final sauce or various spices, symbolizes the people and the people. Whenever traditional festivals, welcoming guests, etc., Minangjiabao people must have rendang. In addition, in the Islamic festival , the Eid al- Adha , slaughtering sheep, cattle and livestock is sacrificed. When encountering this festival, there are more number list meat at home than usual. Cooking rendang at this time can be beneficial for preservation. Rendang is influenced by Indian curry. According to many sources, businessmen from Gujarat, India, brought their hometown food to Indonesia. Over time, they combined with local food customs and habits, and extended it into a new delicacy, rendang. The common main ingredients of rendang cuisine are beef or buffalo meat.
Traditionally, Indonesian or street restaurant signs and menus will write "Rendang Padang", which literally translates to "Rendang Padang" in Chinese. It is an unwritten rule that beef is used for the rendang served. When you order this dish, it must be beef. If it is not beef, the menu will indicate "mutton rendang, chicken rendang" and so on. According to scholars’ research, in the early 16th century, the Minangjiabao people often traveled long distances by boat to do business. The transportation was not as convenient as it is now, and the restaurants and inns were not easy to find. In order to satisfy their hunger, they should be kept and delicious. "Rendang" is a good meal. The rendang that is boiled to dry black is made of more than a dozen kinds of spices, such as turmeric, ginger, galangal, shallot, garlic, chili, lemongrass, Indonesian bay leaf, lemon leaf, nutmeg, turmeric leaf, etc. The spices used are often slightly different according to families and regions, but the common point is the use of many spices.