Creamy and vibrant yellow, this Indonesian chicken curry is something you can throw together on a weeknight or serve to really impress friends at a dinner party.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (286 votes)


  • 100 g medium–hot red chillies, seeded 
  • 100 g red Asian shallots, roughly chopped 
  • 25 g garlic cloves 
  • 5 candlenuts 
  • 40 g fresh turmeric, sliced 
  • 15 g ginger, sliced 
  • vegetable oil 
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised 
  • 25 g galangal, roughly chopped 
  • 1 litre coconut milk 
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 15 g shrimp paste, roasted and crushed 
  • 1 tbsp salt 
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) sugar
  • 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 500 g potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • fried shallots, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Blend the chilli, shallots, garlic, candlenuts, turmeric, ginger and 2 tablespoons of oil to a smooth paste.

Heat a little more oil in a frying pan and fry the paste until it darkens in colour. Add the remaining ingredients other than the chicken, potatoes and fried shallots and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and potatoes and simmer gently until the chicken is tender and the potatoes are soft. If the sauce is too thick, thin out with a little water.

Sprinkle with fried shallots and serve.