Daily Cooking Quest

easy Indonesian recipes

Kare Ayam Jawa - Javanese Chicken Curry

Indonesia is a big country with varied dishes from each of the thousands of islands scattered in the archipelago. It seems that it will take me more than a life time to learn everything there is to learn about my own country’s cuisine. Until very recently, I didn’t even realize that for a Javanese, a kare is not the same as a kari! Apparently a kare is a very close cousin of an opor with the addition of turmeric so the dish should have a yellow color instead of white, and a kari is well, kari, and not a Javanese dish.

Kare Ayam Jawa - Javanese Chicken Curry

Kare Ayam Jawa - Javanese Chicken Curry

Kare Ayam Jawa - Javanese Chicken Curry

4.5 from 2 reviews



Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 8


  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 8 pieces of bone-in chicken (I use all drumsticks)
  • 6 cups thin coconut milk (or use 5 cups water + 1 can coconut milk)
  • 3 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind juice (Indonesian: air asam Jawa)
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 6 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (Indonesian: bubuk kunyit)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder (Indonesian: bubuk jinten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (Indonesian: bubuk lada)
  • Garnish
  • deep fried shallot flakes (Indonesian: bawang merah goreng)


  1. Heat oil in a wok and sauté spice paste until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken, and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add thin coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  4. Turn off heat, transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with deep fried shallot flakes, and serve with steamed white rice.


  • deni kurniawan says:

    I came from Indonesia, and I really like this food. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Deni.

  • Ari says:

    Whaaa...? Kare and kari... not the same thing?@o@

    • Anita says:

      I know right? I was just as flabbergasted.

  • Mina says:

    I am from Iran. I live Indonesia. This recipe is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:

Thank you! Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Something went wrong...