Rendang

Historically, the Minangkabau people of Sumatra were of a migrating (merantau) culture. Many left home to start new lives in other Indonesian cities, as well as at regional countries. Soon, Padang restaurants were everywhere.

But there was one problem when they wanted to take food along their long journeys through rivers and oceans. Refrigerators weren’t available in the 16th century.

So the enterprising Minangkabaus came up with Rendang, a form of drier curry meat. The special recipe used a combination of spices and cooking methods that resulted in a dish that will last when stored for weeks at room temperatures.

There are now, of course, many regional and different adaptations in both dry and wet versions. The rendang curry, be it chicken, beef or mutton, goes very well with lemang.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f13, 1/160 sec.

Lemang

To add a little explanation for international followers; the delicious dish known as Lemang is believed to be Minangkabau (Indonesian) in origin.

The glutinous or sticky rice is mixed with coconut milk and a little salt. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over fire in a hollowed-out bamboo tube.

In Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, one can see stalls popping up during the Eid al-Fitr Festival, where the delicacy (including the accompanying curry) is cooked and sold from the roadside.

Lemang (pronounced as Ler Mung in Malay) is also a traditional and festive food for the Dayaks and Ibans of Borneo.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 800, f9, 1/160 sec.