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Ayam Kalio: Chicken in Spiced Coconut Gravy

Ayam Kalio: Chicken in Spiced Coconut Gravy

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Poultry
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Ayam kalio is a delicious dish of chicken in thick, spiced coconut gravy. It’s very similar to rendang, except that it has more gravy and takes less time to cook. 


  • 1 chicken, cut in pieces, washed thoroughly
  • 4 big red chillies, chopped
  • 5 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 8 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 3 cm turmeric, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cm galangal, chopped
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised, knotted
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 turmeric leaf (optional)
  • 1 tsp tamarind extract
  • Salt to taste
  • 750 ml coconut milk


  1. Blend into a fine paste: big red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal and coriander.
  2. Put the spice paste in a big wok.
  3. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaf, salt and tamarind juice.

    Add the coconut milk and herbs

  4. Cook the mixture over medium heat. Gently stir the mixture constantly to avoid the coconut milk breaking up.
  5. When the mixture boils, add the chicken pieces.

    Add the chicken pieces

  6. Continue cooking and stirring, reduce the heat to medium low.
  7. Cook until the chicken is done and the sauce thickens, around 45 minutes.
  8. Transfer the dish into a serving plate.


  • If kampong chicken (free range chicken) is available, it will make for a better option.

Keywords: Spicy, tamarind, turmeric, galangal