Gulai Kale - Kale in Spicy Coconut Broth

5.0 from 9 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • 450 gram (1 lb) curly kale/Lacinato kale/baby kale
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 3 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam), omit if you don't have these
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 lemongrass, green parts only, cut into 2 inch sections
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (from canned coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Spice paste (grind together the following ingredients)
  • 10 red Fresno/cayenne/bird-eye chilies, seeded
  • 100 gram shallot
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 6 candlenuts (Note 1)
  • 2 lemongrass, white parts only
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 inch galangal
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds/powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  1. Prep kale: If you are using curly kale or Lacinato kale, start by removing the stems and cut the leaves into thin strips. Skip this step if you are using baby kale. Wash and drain the leaves and set aside.
  2. Make spice paste: Use a food processor or a spice attachment for your blender and grind red chilies, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, the white part of lemongrass, ginger, galangal, coriander, turmeric, and cumin into a smooth paste.
  3. Cook the curry: Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Sauté spice paste, Indonesian bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and the green part of lemongrass until fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add water to the wok and bring to a boil. Add kale and cook until wilted and tender. Add coconut milk and season with salt and coconut palm sugar, adjust the amount as necessary. Once it boils, turn off the heat.


  • (1) Candlenut is the same as Hawaiian kukui nut. You can substitute with the same amount of macadamia, almond, or cashew.

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