Sunday, May 8, 2011


Chicken is a universal food, and everybody has his or her own favourite way of preparing it. Curried chicken dishes are popular whether from India or the Caribbean, but Indonesian chicken curry is not so well known outside of Southeast Asia.

Indonesia, with its fifteen thousand islands, covers a large portion of Southeast Asia, and in the early twenty-first century its population (209.4 million) ranked fourth among the world's most populous nations.  Indonesia, with so many regional traditions and ethnic diversity, has one of the richest cuisines.

A while back I saw an Indonesian chicken curry recipe in a book entitled “The Encyclopedia Of Asian Cooking” edited by Jeni Wright, Octopus Books Limited, London, UK. 1980. I copied the recipe down but didn’t have all the ingredients such as candlenuts or Salam leaf so I made substitutions.  It was different from other curries and quite delicious.  My BW and I enjoyed it and finished the rest of it the next day, at which point it actually seemed to taste even better. The next time I made it I changed a couple of things, and I believe you will find this an exciting dining treat for a nice change of taste, perhaps during a weeknight. Once assembled it simmers awhile; you could set your timer and do something else while it cooks. Make a pot of rice to go with it.

One would think this curry would be better known, because everyone can agree that it is truly wonderful. I think you will as well.

Indonesian Chicken Curry (Kelia Ayam)             serves 4-6

3 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 macadamia nuts, chopped
20 fluid ounces (600ml) coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot     
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (chili powder)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch to coat the chicken

Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle on the cornstarch and massage it in all over.

Put half of each of the first three ingredients in an electric blender; add just enough of the coconut milk (3 tablespoons or so) and blend until smooth. Repeat with the other half.

Heat a deep skillet or dutch oven and pour the blended ingredients into it.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly while bringing to the boil and then simmer gently for about forty minutes. The sauce should be thickened now. If not, remove the chicken and reduce further. Taste for salt.

This is good served with steamed rice. Enjoy.  


Anonymous said...

Sounds tempting. I have a Hindu girl in my book and I incorporate Indian cuisine into the story that she eats and contrast it agains American likes and dislikes. I have a lot of fun with food and writing. Its fun to eat the fod that appears in the MS.

Lynda R Young said...

Sounds yum. Has everything in it I like.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my... looks yummy! I should have fixed this dish yesterday for Mother's Day!

Anthony, thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind comment.

Have a great week!


Sylvia Ney said... if I could just get someone else to do the cooking life would be close to perfect! ;-)

Jolene Perry said...

I have no idea how you found my blog, but I'm glad you did - everything looks delicious :D

Holly Ruggiero said...

It's interesting that it has macadamia nuts in it. I bet that help give it a velvety texture.

sandy axelrod said...

This recipe sounds delectable I can't wait to try it! Thanks also for your comments on my blog post about the chinois. I guess you see why I have kept him for 42 years!

septembermom said...

This is very enticing to my tummy! Sounds great. Thank you for posting this recipe.

Manzanita said...

The really sounds delicious and I would like to try it with tofu in place of chicken. I haven't eaten meat or fowl for 30 years. I have all the ingredients on hand and I just bought a couple green coconuts yesterday. I make my own coconut milk with a high speed blender. Thanks for posting it.

Sarah Naveen said...

Sounds wonderful..looks yummy!!gotta try this..

kitchenmorph said...

it sure stands out for its varied ingredients but i don think i'm ever gonna taste it...can never get hold of these ingredients easily!!

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