Chicken in Coconut Milk, Malay Style

(Photo by SauceSupreme/Flickr)
(Photo by SauceSupreme/Flickr)

Serves 6.


1 x 1.5 kg/3 lb roasting chicken
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 stalks fresh lemon grass, finely sliced
2 or 3 fresh red chillies
2 slices galangal, fresh or brined
400 ml/14 fl oz can coconut milk
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 salam leaves or sprig of fresh curry leaves


Cut chicken as for curry and put into a heavy saucepan.

In an electric blender put the onions, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, chillies, galangal and 1/2 cup coconut milk and blend until puréed. Pour over chicken. Rinse blender jar with some of the remaining coconut milk and pour into saucepan. Add ground spices, salt and daun salam or curry leaves and bring slowly to simmering point, stirring now and then. Simmer uncovered until chicken is tender and sauce thick and reduced.

If chicken is so tender it starts to fall apart, remove from pan with slotted spoon and reduce the sauce on its own, then pour over the chicken and serve with rice and accompaniments.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of AsianFood by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)