Indonesian Chicken Curry

Unleash the flavors of Indonesia in your kitchen with this Indonesian Chicken Curry recipe. This recipe brings a touch of the exotic to your dinner table, perfect for those eager to explore new cuisines.

Rice and Indonesian chicken curry on a plate.

I wish I could bottle up the smell of this Indonesian Chicken Curry and wear it around like perfume. Okay, that may be taking things a little far. I’d probably attract all sorts of interesting people, though.

My point is that this curry smells absolutely amazing. Oh, and it tastes just as good as it smells. Seriously, I was just standing over the pan and using my hand to waft the steam toward my face so I could inhale more of this fragrant goodness.

Reasons to Love This Curry

  • Indonesian Chicken Curry combines spices that create a uniquely rich and layered taste experience.
  • The use of traditional Indonesian spices and kaffir lime leaves infuses the dish with an irresistible aroma.
  • The warm, creamy texture and spiced flavors provide a comforting, home-cooked feeling.

Recipe Ingredients

Indonesian Chicken Curry in a white bowl with rice.
  • Ground Coriander: Offers a sweet, earthy taste with a hint of citrus.
  • Coconut Milk: Creamy and rich, it balances the spices, and adds a subtle sweetness.
  • Lemongrass: Provides a fresh, lemony aroma and a slight hint of mint.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Almond Milk for Coconut Milk: Use unsweetened almond milk for a lighter, nuttier alternative.
  • Lime Zest for Lemongrass: If lemongrass is unavailable, use lime zest to mimic its citrusy flavor.

How to Make Indonesian Chicken Curry

Step # 1: Place the spices, chilies, cashews, garlic, shallot, and ginger in a food processor.

Spices in a food processor for the Indonesian Chicken Curry.

and grind them into a paste.

Food processor with spices.

Step #2: Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon sticks, lemongrass stalks, and lime leaves. Let them cook for one minute.

Step #3: Add the ground paste and use a wooden spoon to break it up and mash it into the oil. Let it cook for two minutes.

Step #4: Add the chicken pieces and cook for two to three minutes per side, until browned.

A large skillet with Indonesian Chicken Curry.

Step #5: Stir in half of the coconut milk and all the chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step #6: Stir in the rest of the coconut milk and the fish sauce. Serve hot with lots of rice.

Rice and curry on a white plate.

Expert Tips

Spices: Using whole spices and then grinding them can give a fresher, more intense flavor compared to pre-ground spices. If you have the time and the tools (like a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle), it will elevate the dish’s taste.

Coconut Milk: For a richer curry, opt for full-fat coconut milk. If you prefer a lighter version, lite coconut milk works well too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different chicken parts like for my Indonesian Chicken Curry?

Yes, you can use bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks. They add more flavor but need longer cooking time to ensure they’re fully cooked. Adjust the simmering time as needed.

Can I use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor to make the spice paste in the recipe?

Yes, you can use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices and other ingredients into a paste. It’s more labor-intensive but can enhance the flavor and texture.

A plate with Indonesian Chicken Curry served with rice.

Storage Info

Store the Indonesian Chicken Curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days for optimal freshness. To freeze, place it in a sealed container for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight. To reheat, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave, heating in intervals and stirring in between, to ensure even warming without overcooking.

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Indonesian chicken curry on a plate.

Indonesian Chicken Curry Recipe

Unleash the flavors of Indonesia in your kitchen with this Indonesian Chicken Curry recipe. This recipe brings a touch of the exotic to your dinner table, perfect for those eager to explore new cuisines.
4.4 from 92 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 740kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 dried red chilies - stems removed
  • 2 fresh green Thai chiles - stems and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 4 cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1 large shallot - peeled
  • 2 inches fresh ginger - peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 5 wild lime leaves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 small stalks lemongrass
  • 3 pounds boneless - skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 1 14.5 ounce can coconut milk, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 cups cooked rice - for serving
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new and favorite recipes from us!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions

  • Place the spices, chilies, cashews, garlic, shallot, and ginger in a food processor and grind them into a paste.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon sticks, lemongrass stalks, and lime leaves. Let them cook for one minute.
  • Add the ground paste and use a wooden spoon to break it up and mash it into the oil. Let it cook for two minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook for two to three minutes per side, until browned.
  • Stir in half of the coconut milk and all the chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in the rest of the coconut milk and the fish sauce. Serve hot with lots of rice.

NOTES

You can also use seeds or whole spices in place of the ground ones.
*It’s up to you if you want to remove the cinnamon sticks, lime leaves, and lemongrass before serving. You don’t want to eat them, but they make for a pretty presentation.
***Adapted from the March 2014 issue of Saveur Magazine.
Storage Info:
Store the Indonesian Chicken Curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days for optimal freshness. To freeze, place it in a sealed container for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight. To reheat, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave, heating in intervals and stirring in between, to ensure even warming without overcooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 740kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 10525mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 4mg

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe




Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing!, love this so much, I added a touch of sugar, could just drink (and will later when I eat it) the sauce!

  2. I tried it for dinner today! Wow! Very delicious! I made it with peanuts! Because it is cheaper than cashews in the US. The whole family liked it! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. I want to try this but I am on a keto diet and it has too many carbs. Are the carbs from the rice or something else in the recipe that I can modify? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marcy,

      I updated the recipe to have 6 cups of cooked rice. With the rice it is 64g carbs, without it is 19g carbs. I hope that helps.

      – Linda