Indonesian Chicken Curry

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


In this dish, based on one in SAVEUR editor-in-chief James Oseland's Cradle of Flavor (W. W. Norton, 2006), cinnamon and lemongrass give the silky sauce fragrance and spice.


  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (4" piece) ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 5 fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves
  • 4-6 (4" sticks) cinnamon
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tied into a knot (see Tying Lemongrass)
  • 3 lb. chicken thighs and legs
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 34 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice, for serving


Step 1

Finely grind coriander and chile flakes in a spice grinder. Put spice mixture into a small food processor with garlic, onions, and ginger; purée to a paste. Add 1–2 tbsp. water, if necessary.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add paste; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 5–7 minutes. Add lime leaves, cinnamon, and lemongrass. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cinnamon is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup coconut milk, 1 1⁄4 cups water, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, 40–50 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk; cook for 2 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving with the rice.

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