Daily Cooking Quest

Gulai Ayam Padang

Gulai ayam Padang is much closer to Indian curry compared to kari ayam. Notice that we are using a lot more spices for this recipe resulting in a richer and spicier taste. As usual, please be warned that the chilies can be really hot (and 50 gram of red chilies is not to be taken lightly), so feel free to remove the seeds to suit your preferred level of spiciness :)

Gulai Ayam Padang

Gulai Ayam Padang

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8


  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 lemon grass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and chopped
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 6 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 3 cardamom (Indonesian: kapulaga)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
  • ½ star anise (Indonesian: bunga pekak/bunga lawang)
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 50 gram palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 5 gram tamarind pulp (Indonesian: asam Jawa)
  • 750 ml water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 50 gram red chilies
  • 40 gram galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 10 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 5 gram ginger
  • 5 gram turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander (Indonesian: biji ketumbar)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (Indonesian: jinten)
  • 2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a soup pot and fry the spice paste, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and star anise until fragrant, around 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken, palm sugar, and tamarind pulp. Cook until chicken pieces are no longer pink.
  3. Pour water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked and tender.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and cook for another 15 minutes. Turn of the heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.


  • susanto says:

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

    • Anita says:

      Thank you yah Susanto udah nyobain resepnya :)

  • 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!

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