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Indonesian cuisine with Astri: Opor ayam (white chicken curry)

Serving 4

4 chicken breasts
800 ml coconut milk
50 to 100 ml water (mix with coconut milk)
2 teaspoon of brown palm sugar (or demerara sugar)
1 lemongrass
3 lime leaves
6 tablespoons of oil
Blended spice:
5 shallots
3 garlic cloves
5 candle nuts (kemiri)
½ to 1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 cm of galangal
2 teaspoons salt
100 ml water


  • For spice mix using a blender, chop and crush the ingredients before putting them in the blender: chop the shallots, crush and chop garlic cloves, ground candel nuts, ground coriander seeds using mortar and pestle, crush and chop galangal. Put all ingredients into the blender add pepper and salt and 100 ml of water (add some more if blender has difficulties to blend them);
  • Cut chicken breast into chunks. Usually 1 breast may make 5-6 chunks;
  • Mix 650 ml coconut milk from 2 tins and 100 ml water from the water tap. Make sure that you use all the stuff from the coconut milk tin;
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of oil over medium to high heat in a pan (preferable not sticky). Fry the breast chunks around 1 to 1.5 minutes per side, or until the chicken has golden colour. Take out of the pan, drain the oil and/or pat with kitchen towels;
  • Heat new 2 tablespoons of oil over medium to high heat in the same pan (after you clean it from the oil used to fry the chicken) or use a wok or a saucepan;
  • Stir-fry the blended spice until it smells good. Approximately 1-2 minutes. Don’t overcook it;
  • Pour the coconut milk;
  • Followed by the brown palm sugar (or demerara sugar), crushed the ball part of lemongrass and the lime leaves. Simmer it;
  • Then, put the chicken in. Cook for 10 on this medium to high heat, another 10 minutes on medium heat and another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through on medium to low heat. Relax and enjoy yourself and your company. Don’t forget to check and stir occasionally so it doesn’t catch the bottom. Add a little water (about 50 ml or about 100 ml, depending on the curry thickness by then or depending on your preference), if the coconut milk becomes too thick;
  • Serve with rice. Traditionally, we pour some fried Asian shallots on top of the rice and shrimp crackers (or we call them Kerupuk).

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