Balinese Tamarind Chicken "Ayam Panggang Bumbu Terik"

This is a variation on a recipe from the the beautiful Tugu Hotel at Canggu Beach in Bali Canggu is located approximately 15 minutes drive north of Seminyak and is relatively isolated compared to the busier Seminyak, Legian and Kuta districts, although new development sites with villas and hotels were springing up when we last visited the area in mid 2008. We spent a couple of very relaxing weeks at Tugu Hotel in 2007. The hotel houses a massive private collection of South East Asian antiques, with over 1,000 pieces on display throughout the hotel and grounds.

Located on the hotel grounds is a traditional Balinese kitchen and dining area, the "Waroeng" In here they hold cooking classes covering traditional Balinese and some east Javanese dishes. The meal we dined on the evening of our private class is still one of the best meals I've ever had in Bali. Below is a shot of me preparing the paste for the Tamarind Chicken Curry in the traditional food processor!

The Tamarind Chicken Curry was one of the dishes we created and ate that evening. The feast included;
- Sauteed prawns
- Minced marinated beef in banana leaves
- Balinese chili shredded chicken
- Marinated vegetables in grated coconut
- Steamed fish with lemongrass in banana leaves
  • 1 large free range chicken, segmented into 6-8 pieces
  • 1 400ml tin coconut cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 8 long red chillies, seeds and inner pith removed
  • 2 Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2cm peeled piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1cm peeled piece of turmeric, chopped
  • 4 eschallots roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stick lemongrass (bruised)
  • 1 tbls Gula Melaka (or palm sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1tbls tamarind puree


Place eschallots, chillies, garlic, ginger, salt and turmeric in a processor and grind to paste. Heat the sesame oil and 1 tbls of the peanut oil in a hot wok and add the paste. Fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes continuously mixing.

Remove paste and set aside in a bowl. Add remaining oil and brown the chicken pieces in batches. Once browned, set chicken aside and empty any remaining oil from wok and wipe clean. Add paste, coconut milk, stock, lime leaves and lemongrass to the wok and bring to the boil. Add chicken, potato and Gula Melaka. Bring to the boil then reduce to very low heat. Simmer uncovered on low for 1.5 to 2 hours till liquid is very thick. Stir in tamarind puree and season to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve with steamed jasmine or basmati rice.

Serves 4


  1. Just made this recipe tonight, oh my god, DO DELICIOUS!! Thank you!


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