Indonesian Curry Recipe

Indonesian Curry Recipe
Indonesian food (especially Balinese cuisine) has many Indian influences and my Indonesian Chicken Curry, in particular, is a perfect example of what Indonesia’s multicultural cuisine has to offer. The key to this delicious, mouth-watering dish lies in the special Indonesian Curry Paste, for which I have provided my own recipe. You can also use this Indonesian Curry Paste in many other dishes for a slightly different but wonderful flavor – such as any vegetable, tofu or seafood curries or noodle/rice dishes as well.

It’s a simple dish traditionally made using potatoes, but feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as green peas, baby corn, carrots, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower florets, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, zucchini, edamame/soybeans, spinach, snow peas….

You can also make this curry using lamb, seafood, hard-boiled eggs or even tofu.



4-5 large shallots, roughly chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1½” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
4-5 small green Thai chilies, roughly chopped (to taste)
1 small stick of cinnamon (about 2½ ” in length)
1 star anise
1-2 green cardamom seeds, gently crushed
2-3 cloves
¼ cup toasted/unsalted peanuts
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
6-8 black peppercorns
2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)


Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor & grind to a fine paste – adding water only as needed. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or so or in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.




1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite size pieces
1 large onion, finely diced
2-3 tbsp Indonesian curry paste, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup thick coconut milk
½ cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
juice of ½ lime
zest of 1 lime 1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp palm sugar (or jaggery or dark brown sugar), to taste
2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Optional Garnish: 2 shallots, thinly sliced & stir-fried until crispy


In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onion & sauté until the onions are just lightly browned. Next, add the Indonesian curry paste along with the salt & pepper. Let cook for another 4-5 minutes & then add in the chicken pieces. Stir well, making sure to coat all of the chicken pieces with the aromatic spice paste. Now add in the coconut milk together with the chicken stock & stir well to combine. Then bring the curry to gentle boil, cover & let simmer on low for about 6-8 minutes or until the chicken pieces are fully cooked yet still tender. You can adjust the consistency of the curry as desired, if it is too thick – just add a little more chicken stock or even water. Garnish with the cilantro leaves & crispy shallots. Serve with fragrant rice as part of any delicious meal.


Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to this dish such as red bell pepper strips, green peas, baby corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin pieces, green beans, butternut/acorn squash pieces…

 photo Indonesian Chicken Curry.jpg

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