Balinese chicken curry recipe


Like most curries, except those containing seafood, this simple chicken curry will taste even better the next day. Serve with steamed white rice to soak up all that rich coconut sauce, and a crisp, refreshing beer, such as Bintang, to counterbalance the lovely, fragrant spices.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken about 1.8 kg (4 lb) cut into 10–12 pieces
  • 10½ fl oz (4 x 300 ml) tins coconut milk
  • 2½ oz/½ cup (75 g) grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 2 fl oz/¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce to taste
  • 6–8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 17 fl oz/2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
Curry Paste
  • 5¾ oz/1 cup (160 g) peanuts
  • 8 red Asian shallots roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 5 cm (2 inch) chunk fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 6 lemongrass stems white part only finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 small red chillies split lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
How to Make It
  1. In a food processor, whiz the curry paste ingredients until finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Cook the chicken in two batches, turning often, until golden all over. Remove the chicken, leaving the oil in the pan.
  3. Add the curry paste to the pan with 300 ml (10½ fl oz) of the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and stir to remove any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 8–10 minutes, or until the mixture is aromatic and golden yellow.
  4. Stir in the palm sugar and fish sauce and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Add the lime leaves, remaining coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Return the chicken to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Serve with steamed rice.

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