Chicken in Spicy Coconut Gravy

Origin: Tulungagung & Trenggalek Regency


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1.3 kg/3 lb), washed & cut in 4 parts
  • 250 ml thick coconut milk
  • 750 ml thin coconut milk
  • 10 pc bird chillies, discard the stalk end
  • 5 pc kaffir lime leaves, discard the rib of the leaves
  • 2 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruised & cut in 2-3 pieces
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 2 cm galangale, bruised or sliced
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp, soak with 3 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar (or to taste)

Spices ingredients for the paste

  • 5 pc large red chillies, chopped
  • 5-10 pc bird chillies (reduce if you can't handle the spiciness level)
  • 5 pc shalllots, chopped
  • 4 cm fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds or 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 5 cm fresh turmeric or 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin

Chicken in Spicy Coconut Gravy

There are many varieties of Indonesian poultry dishes, one of them is "Ayam Lodho" which's originated in Tulungagung & Trenggalek Regencies of East Java Province.
This dish is very popular among local indonesians for it's delicious but extra spicy taste. For you who can't handle birds chili's spiciness,
I seriously warn you to stay away from this recipe!!.
For you who're keen of spicy dishes, welcome to the club :-). This recipe is a really worth trying!!!
Don't worry for you who don't like spicy dish, I suggested you to take another variant from middle of Java which is not too spicy: Ayam Bumbu Rujak recipe.
The ingredients are almost similar and it tastes as good as well. Have a nice cooking & enjoy your chicken dishes 🙂


  • Cut chicken in half lengthwise along breastbone, leave the backbone uncut. Turn over the chicken and by using the palm of your hand, press down on the center of the backbone until you hear a crack and the chicken is flattened.
  • Cut chicken in 4 – 6 parts, wash and pat dry with kitchen paper or towel.
  • Transfer the chicken in a pyrex glass (if you grill in the oven) & rub chicken all over with salt.
  • Indonesian method: grill the chicken on charcoal or electric grill until half cooked and the outer skin turns brown. (Skip this step if you use oven)
  • Using oven: grill/bake the chicken on fan bake/convection or Umluft (german) to 435°F (225°C) for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and continue to grill for 15 minutes until the chicken half cooked & become golden brown.
  • Prepare all ingredients for the paste: chilli, shallots & garlic, ginger & turmeric. Pre-cut and slice into smaller part if necessary.
  • Put them in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit OIL to help the blending process. Do not add WATER otherwise you'll ruin the taste!).
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Heat about 3 tbsp oil on medium heat and saute the paste. Stir all the time until fragrant & WELL COOKED (about 5 minutes).
  • The paste is done when the colour is getting darker & the paste start scrambling. Ensure the paste is well done/well cooked because this is the important key to obtain the best taste!
  • Add the grilled chicken and stir to mix.
  • Add thin coconut milk and stir to mix.
  • Add salt, sugar and bring to boil on a maximum heat. Stir occationally to prevent coconut milk from separating.
  • Reduce the heat into medium, add thick coconut milk, stir to mix.
  • Add tamarid juice & whole birds chillies (if used).
  • Add birds chillies.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken well cooked. Adjust the taste, add salt or sugar if necessary. Serve hot with rice and Urap-Urap or Vegetables Salad with Coconut Dressing.
Keyword chicken, coconut, Indonesia, spicy

popular Indonesian recipes

“Thank You for visiting my site. I won’t bother you with my life stories LOL :-D. Just get the recipe, have fun while cooking and enjoy your meal!”

Endang SW Lestari

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating