Gulai Ayam Padang (Padang Style Chicken Curry)


  • 10 shallots
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 10 red thai bird chiles
  • 6 candlenuts
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric
  • 1 whole chicken, preferably organic and cage-free since they are smaller and less meaty, cut into 8 sections
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 lemongrass, white parts only, bruised
  • 1 dried turmeric leaf, tied in knot
  • 1 inch fresh galangal, bruised
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they turn into paste. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add paste into the hot oil, along with lime leaves, lemongrass, turmeric leaf, and galangal. Cook until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and tamarind pulp into the skillet, stir to combine. Bring the coconut milk to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add chicken pieces into the skillet, season with sugar and salt. Cook until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F), and the sauce thickens. Serve hot over rice.