Daily Cooking Quest

Semur Ayam - Chicken in Nutmeg and Sweet Soy Sauce

Semur ayam is a chicken and potato dish stewed in nutmeg and sweet soy sauce. The taste is very bold, the chicken and potatoes tender and succulent, and you will want to mop up all the sauce with a big bowl of steamed white rice. Bone in chicken is traditional, but boneless skinless meat can also be used for a fuss free experience. ♥

Semur Ayam - Chicken in Nutmeg and Sweet Soy Sauce

Semur Ayam - Chicken in Nutmeg and Sweet Soy Sauce

5.0 from 3 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 800 gram chicken (about 8 pieces)
  • 300 gram potato (about 3 potatoes), peeled and cut into 8 wedges per potato
  • 1 liter water
  • 100 ml sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: bubuk pala)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (Indonesian: merica)
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 5 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 5 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • Garnish
  • deep fried shallot flakes (Indonesian: bawang merah goreng)


  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste and lemongrass until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken pieces and stir until well coated with the spice and no longer pink.
  3. Add potatoes, water, sweet soy sauce, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and white pepper into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken and potatoes are cooked and tender, about 30 minutes. Adjust with salt and sugar as needed.
  4. Turn off heat. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with with shallot flakes and served immediately with steamed white rice.


  • Tarek Obaid says:

    bookmarked!!, I like your blog!

  • Yudhi says:

    Thanks Anita, all my family liked.This one beat my old recipe

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Yudhi :)

  • Brett says:

    Noticed this recipe doesn't include candle nut, might give it a try though, thanks Anita!

    • Anita says:

      Good idea Brett, especially for those who love thicker sauce :)

  • Christina Narendra says:

    I always go to your website first for Indonesian recipes. This is delicious. I substituted tofu for chicken for this one. Thanks as always and regards from Southern California.

    • Anita says:

      Thanks for the lovely comment Christina. Good idea with the tofu sub! You can also use hard-boiled eggs and make semur telur. :)

  • Silvia Koningin says:

    Anita, this recipe is delicious! My family loves it!

    • Anita says:

      Thanks for sharing Silvia! I am always happy to know that others like my recipe. :)

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