Food-Main Dishes,  Recipes-Main Dishes

Gulai Ayam

Gulai Ayam is Indonesian dish , it is chicken cooked in rich sauce . The sauce itself made from all kinds of spices , and then the chicken is cooked in it for a good hour , resulting a very tender , full of flavor chicken . As most asian , particulary south east asian dish , they’re not that complicated to do , but they do require lots of spices , herbs , and blending them into a smooth paste . So a mortar pestle or a food processor is a must here . I use food processor for most of my Indonesian cooking .

I grew up in Indonesia , and gulai ayam , although it is not something that i had quite often , it’s delicious , mom used to buy it from the local restaurant , and most of gulai used lamb , instead of chicken . Since lamb is quite expensive here , i thought i should try it using chicken , this is my first attempt of cooking gulai , so i wouldn’t want to spend too much money if it turns out to be a failure .  But this wasn’t a failure , this dish turned out to be pretty delicious ! It is quite easy with a bunch of prep .. mostly are peeling the spices .. but other than that everything comes pretty easy ! My 8 years old son loved it so much he said he could eat this everyday .. lol .. i was quite surprised considering the level of spiciness was quite up there .

gulai ayam


Direction : 

1 whole cut up chicken

3 Tbsp. of canola oil

3 lemon grass , bruised

2 bay leaves

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

40 grams of galangal

50-60 grams of palm sugar

juice from 1 key lime

750 ml of water

300 ml of coconut milk

Throw these spices all together into mortar pestle , or make it easier , using food processor , let it run for about 2-3 minutes to form a very smooth paste .

60 grams red chilies , i used a mixture of hot korean red pepper and bird eyes chilies

6-8 large shallots , use about 10 if it’s small

5 cloves of garlic

5 candlenuts

5 grams of ginger

5 grams of turmeric

2 tsp. of ground coriander

1/2 tsp. of ground cumin


1. If you’re buying whole chicken , cut it into 8 pieces . Set aside .

2. In a dutch oven , heat up the oil , then stir fry the spice paste , along with lemon grass , galangal , star anise , cinnamon stick and bay leaves , for about 3-4 minutes until it’s really fragrant , under medium heat , keep stirring so it won’t be burnt . Add the palm sugar when it’s almost done stir frying . Then throw in the chicken pieces , mix well until it’s pretty much covered with the spice paste .

3. Add the water , mix well , bring to boil , and turn down to medium low heat for a good 30-45 minutes . When the chicken is done , add coconut milk , adjust the seasoning with salt , and then bring to boil gently again for about 15 minutes . The coconut milk will make it look so rich although you don’t add that much of coconut milk . After 15 minutes , the sauce should be really thick and it’s done , served warm with white rice .

gulai ayam



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