Gulai ayam is another Indonesian dish that Max enjoys whenever he eats Nasi Padang.
It is essentially an Indonesian-style chicken curry with a rich, savoury gravy that is commonly found in Sumatra (and closest to Peninsular Malaysia).
We adapted this recipe from Zarina Ibrahim’s Home Cooking book published in the 1990s. We tweaked it from her gulai daging recipe as well as added new ingredients – i.e. shallots, garlic and daun pandan (pandan leaves). This has to be most satisfying dish we’ve cooked during #mco!
A traditional Indonesian/Minang curry, gulai is slightly different from your regular curry given its yellowish colour due to the addition of turmeric (kunyit). This dish is not overtly spicy but is so flavourful and rich due to the robust paste made of different spices, and marinated with the chicken.
We really loved the flavours of the gulai – it goes very well with rice and roti prata. The kerisik (toasted coconut paste) not only provided fragrance but also a rendang-like texture to the dish!
In fact, a Malay friend commented this recipe is like a hybrid between rendang and curry because of the addition of galangal and kerisik! Its creaminess comes from the santan (coconut milk).
This recipe is a keeper and we will definitely make this on a regular basis (when the time permits, lol)! Ming can’t take spicy food but she thoroughly enjoyed this rich and creamy dish.
For videos and step-by-step process, check out our Instagram post here.
Gulai Ayam [Recipe]Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: IndonesianDifficulty: Intermediate
A rich and creamy Indonesian curry with lots of flavour and spices.
700g chicken pieces
3-4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Grind to paste
10-12 dried chilli, soaked to soften
2cm ginger, sliced
2cm galangal, sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, cut
3 shallots, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeped
Water to help blend (about 2 tbsp)
- Dry spices
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds/powder
70g kerisik kelapa (coconut paste/toasted grated coconut)
- Frying ingredients
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 cinnamon stick
7-8 cardamom seeds
8 cloves (bunga cengkih)
Salt to taste
300ml santan (coconut milk)
3 cups of water
- Marinade chicken
- Add the “Grind to Paste” ingredients in a food processor and blend to make paste.
- Combine the paste with the dry spices and chicken. Marinade chicken thoroughly.
- Fry aromatics
- Heat up oil in wok and fry the onion, cinnamon stick, cardamon seeds and cloves until fragrant. Add the chicken pieces with the marinade sauce to the wok.
- Fry chicken for about 1-2 minute and add 3 cups of water. Turn to high heat. When it begin to simmer, cover with lid and reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 30 minutes (or when chicken pieces are tender).
- Add santan
- Add the santan (coconut milk). Mix well and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Add the potatoes and let it cook until potatoes are soft.
- Serve and enjoy!