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Gulai Ayam Padang - Padang Chicken Curry

Follow this recipe to recreate the famous Gulai Ayam Padang to get soft and tender chicken with a generous amount of spicy and savory curry sauce for the steamed rice.
Gulai Ayam Padang - Padang Chicken Curry.

Gulai Ayam Padang - Padang Chicken Curry.

Indonesia is a big country, and cuisines of many regions combined make up what we know as Indonesian cuisine. Among its many cuisines, Padang is easily my favorite.

Some of popular Padang dishes that you may have heard of include rendang, ayam pop, ayam panggang, balado, perkedel, sambal lado, gulai nangka, gulai daun singkong, soto Padang, and many more. If I were to eat just Padang dishes for the rest of my days, I don’t think I will complain much. :)

I am going to share my recipe for Gulai Ayam Padang today. I love that this dish has plenty of delicious sauce that is just perfect with some steamed rice. I never throw away the extra sauce even when all the chicken is gone. The extra curry sauce elevates a humble meal of steamed rice and fried egg into a delicious meal.

Ingredients for gulai ayam Padang (Padang chicken curry): chicken, coconut milk, coconut palm sugar, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, galangal, tamarind, red chilies, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, candlenuts, salt, cumin, turmeric, and coriander.

Ingredients for gulai ayam Padang (Padang chicken curry): chicken, coconut milk, coconut palm sugar, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, galangal, tamarind, red chilies, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, candlenuts, salt, cumin, turmeric, and coriander.

Ingredients for gulai ayam Padang

1. Chicken

Most Padang restaurants in Indonesia use ayam kampung for their chicken dishes. Ayam kampung is the equivalent of a free-range chicken, and it is usually smaller and lighter compared to farmed chicken. You can use a whole chicken, cut up into 8-12 pieces.

I usually use chicken leg quarters, cut into thighs and drumsticks. If you choose this option, you will need about 4-5 chicken quarters for this recipe.

2. Fresh ingredients

We will need garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves.

For the red chilies, most Indonesians usually use either bird-eye or cayenne chilies. Bird-eye will be hotter than cayenne, but if you want an even milder dish, you can use Fresno chilies too. You can also use dried red chilies when you are running out of fresh chilies.

3. Dry/pantry ingredients

We will need salt, coconut palm sugar, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, candlenuts, tamarind, and coconut milk.

(1) Prepare the spice paste in a food processor. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. (3) Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water and season with salt, coconut palm sugar, and tamarind. Cook until the chicken is soft before adding coconut milk.

(1) Prepare the spice paste in a food processor. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. (3) Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water and season with salt, coconut palm sugar, and tamarind. Cook until the chicken is soft before adding coconut milk.

How to cook gulai ayam Padang

1. Prepare spice paste

Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and candlenuts into a smooth paste.

2. Sauté spices and aromatics

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat and sauté spice paste, bruised lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, smashed cardamom, cloves, star anise, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

3. Sauté chicken

Add chicken to the wok and stir to coat with the spices. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.

4. Add seasonings and water

Add salt, coconut palm sugar, tamarind, and water. Mix and cook until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is soft and tender.

5. Add coconut milk

Stir in coconut milk and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and serve the chicken curry with steamed white rice.

Serve gulai ayam padang (Padang chicken curry) immediately with steamed white rice, though the flavor improves with age and it tastes even better on the second or third day.

Serve gulai ayam padang (Padang chicken curry) immediately with steamed white rice, though the flavor improves with age and it tastes even better on the second or third day.

Create a complete Padang rice set (a.k.a. nasi Padang)

It is said that no matter where you go in Indonesia, you are bound to find at least one amazing Padang restaurant. For most Indonesians, a packet of nasi Padang (Padang rice set) is considered a happy and complete meal.

A typical Padang rice set will have a serving of steamed rice, a serving of meat, a serving of vegetables, and a serving of sambal (chili sauce).

Gulai ayam Padang is one of the many great choices to get for the meat, though other choices such as rendang, ayam pop, or ayam panggang are excellent choices as well.

For the vegetables, you can choose from a balado, perkedel, gulai nangka, or gulai daun singkong.

When it comes to Padang cuisine, the best and most famous chili sauce without a doubt is sambal lado. But if you don’t have the ingredients for it, it is not a bad idea to serve nasi Padang with sambal terasi or sambal bajak too.

To replicate a Padang restaurant experience, ladle a piece or two of the chicken to individual serving plate along with a generous amount of sauce.

To replicate a Padang restaurant experience, ladle a piece or two of the chicken to individual serving plate along with a generous amount of sauce.

Gulai Ayam Padang - Padang Chicken Curry

5.0 from 12 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare spice paste: Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and candlenuts into a smooth paste.
  2. Sauté spices and aromatics: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat and sauté spice paste, bruised lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, smashed cardamom, cloves, star anise, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sauté chicken: Add chicken to the wok and stir to coat with the spices. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Add seasonings and water: Add salt, coconut palm sugar, tamarind, and water. Mix and cook until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is soft and tender.
  5. Add coconut milk: Stir in coconut milk and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and serve the chicken curry with steamed white rice.

Notes

  • (1) From hottest to mildest: bird-eye, cayenne, and Fresno. You can use about 10 grams of dried chilies too instead of fresh chilies.
  • (2) You can substitute candlenuts with the same amount of macadamia.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • susanto susanto says:

    Lumayan...thanks ya..aku ud coba.. Dari sydney

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thank you yah Susanto udah nyobain resepnya :)

  • Karen Yong Karen Yong says:

    Hi Anita, I stumbled upon your website whilst looking for a gulai Ayam Padang recipe. I tried it out and it turned out beautifully (good, accurate recipes are hard to come by nowadays ;-)). However, I replaced asam paste with asam gelugor as I ran out of the former but the dish still has that nice tangy kick. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to try your other recipes!

  • Katie Katie says:

    This looks like something I would absolutely love. Can't wait to try this one!!

  • Priya Lakshminarayan Priya Lakshminarayan says:

    Wow this recipe is my kind of dish! I would love to make this curry with some vegetable protein instead..love the flavors in here.

  • Janelle Janelle says:

    Thank you for the inspo - I love the flavours this recipe has to offer.

  • Abi Abi says:

    This looks so refreshing from the usual way I cook chicken. I need to try it!

  • Emmeline Kemperyd Emmeline Kemperyd says:

    I just had breakfast, but this recipe made me HUNGRY! It looks exactly like my favorite food court curry from my days in Singapore - never had anything quite like it but I will try this version and cross my fingers. Can't wait!

  • Chris Collins Chris Collins says:

    I'm always on the hunt for new chicken dinners so this looks right up my street! Can't wait to try the recipe :)

  • Taylor Kiser Taylor Kiser says:

    I love everything about this! Comfort food dinner for the win!

  • Vicky Vicky says:

    Can't wait to try something different-this is an amazing recipe to explore!

  • Angela Angela says:

    Love a good chicken recipe! The flavors here are spot on!! Way better than I get at a restaurant. YUM!

  • Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    This looks so good, I am definitely craving this! Bookmarked to make over the weekend, thank you so much for the recipe :)

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