Adventures living as expats.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Indonesian Chicken Curry - Gulai Ayam

After discussing Thai Green Curry during the AWA talk, I moved to Indonesian curries which were originally inspired by India due to the trade relationship.  These curries - kari, gulai, and Rendang have a distinct Indonesian flare because they're fiery and cooked in coconut milk.  Gulai sauce can be quite addicting and it's vibrant orange color is due to the turmeric powder and dried chillies.

First grind the paste.
Then combine the dry spices.
Fry the paste for a few minutes, add the spices, then add the chicken and lemongrass.
Coconut milk and broth go in next and the gulai is simmered until thickened.
Finally, garnish and devour.

Gulai Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Curry)

12 skinless chicken thighs or 6 breast halves
3 Tbsp oil
200 ml thick coconut milk
1-2 cups chicken broth
3 stalks lemongrass, bruised
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

Spice Paste:
15 shallots
10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water for 20 mins
1 inch galangal
1 inch fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
6 candlenuts

Dry Spices:
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 inch cinnamon stick

  1.  Chop spice paste ingredients and grind into a paste, adding water if needed to keep the mix turning.
  2. Combine coriander, cumin, fennel and turmeric together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3.  Heat oil in wok and gently fry spice paste for 2- 3 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add dry spices and fry, stirring for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken and lemongrass and cook, stirring frequently until chicken is well coated with spices.
  6. Add coconut milk, 1 cup broth, and salt.
  7. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until chicken is tender and curry has thickened (~20 minutes).  Add additional broth if sauce becomes too thick.
  8.   Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

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