This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from a qualifying purchase without extra cost to you. Check our disclosure policy for more info.
Kari Ayam Is Just An Indonesian Version of Chicken Curry
Kari Ayam is just another chicken curry dish in the Indonesian version. However, unlike the curries from the Indian subcontinent, this curry uses herbs more than spices.
And it also uses coconut milk that gives the dish richness in the gravy that tastes absolutely divine to enjoy it with plain white rice.
Endless Versions of Recipes
Just like any food recipe, you can get many versions of a particular food. It applies to this chicken dish as well.
There will be endless versions of Indonesian chicken curry. Interestingly, every region in the country has their own style with a slight difference from the others.
However, they all have similarities. Mostly, in a few ingredients.
Whether you taste the Javanese version of Kare Ayam or try the one from Sumatra island, all chicken curries will use coconut milk, chillies and lemongrass.
These three always pop up in the required ingredients.
And the Kari Ayam recipe that I’m sharing here is rooted in the Sumatran one.
Yup, you need quite a few exotic ingredients to make this mouthwatering chicken dish. But I believe all the ingredients should be reasonably easy for you to obtain as they are readily available in most Asian shops and online shops.
Apart from the chicken (I use baby chicken cut in small pieces), you will need galangal, lemongrass, cloves, cinnamon quill, coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, cooking oil, sugar and salt.
Needless to say that fresh ingredients are always the best. However, we don’t have the luxury of having them all the time, do we?
For example, some spices we need like galangal, chillies and turmeric. If the fresh ones are not available, you can use the dried galangal or the paste in a jar. For chillies, you can use fresh red chillies, dried red chillies or red chilli powder. Here, I use the Kashmiri red chilli powder. Simply because I like the flavour and the vibrant colour that it gives to the dish.
Similarly, you can use dry turmeric powder if you cannot get fresh turmeric. They’re all good.
A Little Note On Cinnamon
Now, for cinnamon, I should say you choose wisely. Because there are a few different types of cinnamon sold in the market.
The one called cinnamon sticks is usually the lower quality one which is Cassia bark. It is a family of cinnamon and a little bit different from the high-grade type called cinnamon quills in the market.
Cinnamon quills are the ones considered the true cinnamon. It has a reddish-brown colour with a smooth surface. Its fragrance has a sweet tone, and it’s rather powerful that you only need to use a small amount in your cooking. Price-wise, it’s slightly more expensive. But it’s worthed.
How To Make Mouth-Watering Indonesian Chicken Curry
In short, you need to fry the spices and herbs until they release the intoxicatingly delicious aroma. Then you add in the chicken pieces to fry until they look opaque and firm.
Lastly, pour the coconut milk in and let everything cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender.
Top Tips For Flavoursome Kari Ayam
- Prepare your chicken by cleaning it, and then rub some white vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice all over the poultry pieces. Rinse the chicken pieces with water until they don’t feel slimy to touch. Lastly, prick them with a fork or a skewer. The idea is to help the flavour from your cooking get into the inside of the chicken.
- Make sure you fry the spices until they smell nice. If you find it a bit dry, you can add another drop of cooking oil.
You can cook and prepare this curry over the weekend for you to enjoy during the mid-week.
When you do so, ensure you cool your Kari Ayam down fully before you transfer it into a tight-lid food container and refrigerate the dish. It keeps well in the fridge/ refrigerator for 5 days.
The dish is suitable for freezing as well. Ideally, you keep it in the freezer for no more than 2 months. And make sure you thaw and reheat it before serving. Once you do so, you should finish it as it is not recommended to keep reheating the chicken dish.
Thank you for checking out this Kari Ayam recipe. I hope you will try this Indonesian chicken curry and share what you think about it in the comments below. I’ll really appreciate it.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other Indonesian chicken recipes that you may like.
- Ayam Penyet – the crushed chicken with fresh chilli sambal.
- Sate Ayam – Indonesian chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce.
- Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali – Balinese spicy shredded chicken.
Thank you and all the best.