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Ayam Kalio Padang - Half Way Chicken Rendang

A kalio is basically a rendang that is cooked only half way, meaning there will still be sauce left, albeit a little. For economical reason, some Padang restaurants pass a kalio as a rendang, needless to say, I will not be coming back if my rendang looks like a kalio. How will you know? A proper rendang has no sauce, all the spices will cling to the meat and the sauce, if any, will be super minimal, more like biting into a super juicy meat. Why then, would anyone make a kalio? Well, mainly because it is so much faster to cook a kalio. Once you start seeing oil separating from the coconut milk, it is pretty safe to call it a kalio, though I would advise cooking just a tad longer until the sauce is further reduced, at least until 50% reduction, better if you can wait until only 25% of the sauce is left.

Ayam Kalio Padang - Half Way Chicken Rendang
Ayam Kalio Padang - Half Way Chicken Rendang

Ayam Kalio Padang - Half Way Chicken Rendang

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 5 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 or 12 pieces
  • 750 coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • 2 asam gelugur (*)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 10 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 3 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 5 red cayenne peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 2 red anaheim peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah besar)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1 turmeric (about 1 inch) (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (Indonesian: biji ketumbar)


  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Pour coconut milk, add asam gelugur, and season with salt and sugar. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced by at least 50%, best if you can wait until only 25% sauce is left.
  4. Adjust salt and sugar as needed. Turn off heat. Serve with steamed white rice.


  • (*) Can be substituted with asam kandis (same amount) or tamarind (10 gram).
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    Sorry to say, I guess this is called gulai instead of kalio Anita, Kalio is consentrated gulai (thin/thick coconut curry) when the oil is separated from the coconut broth, while rendang is caramelized kalio #this is from an rendang expert in Bukittinggi, Mak Ateh if you willing to, i had the pictorial of gulai, kalio and rendang on http://dentistvschef.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/indonesian-beef-rendang-recipe-resep-rendang-padang-khas-minangkabau-step-by-step/

    • Anita Anita says:

      See, I learn something new all the time. Now you see why I state I am an amateur cook? :)

  • kazy kazy says:

    Hi Anita I live in California and want to make this dish. However, after reviewing the ingredients, I don't think I have access to asam gelugur or asam kandis. What I do have in my fridge is Tamarind paste. Will this suffice and if so how much should I use as a substitute for 2 asam gelugur? I do have access to Indian grocery stores and I read that I may be able to find Garcinia indica which goes by the name of kokkum, kokam or black mangosteen, which can be used as a BETTER substitute for asam gelugur or kandis than the tamarind paste. What is your opinion? In either case, how much should I use for these substitutes for replacing asam gelugur or kandis? Thanks, kazy

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Kazy, if you use mangosteen I would say the same amount and yes I think this is a better substitute. If you use tamarind paste, try 1 tablespoon.

      • kazy kazy says:

        Thanks so much for your reply. I can't wait to try this. I will let you know how it came out. kazy

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