Bali coconut chicken

A bowl of coconut chicken curry, a plate of green beans and a small bowl of white rice on dark grey table.
Bali coconut chicken is a favorite dish for almost anyone who tries it. It is one of those amazing recipes from Indonesia’s most famous island Bali. You will find this served a lot in the Kuta Beach Area - some of the locals call it “Kuta Coconut Chicken”. The Chicken includes sublime aromatics (clove and star anise) and coconut milk built with lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon sticks, kaffir lime, and more.

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 6 people


The Fragrant Paste

  • 5 g galangal diced into small pieces
  • 10 g fresh turmeric sliced, or 1 tsp powder
  • 10 g fresh ginger sliced, or 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 lemongrass peel 2 layers and dice
  • 2 large chili deseeded and sliced
  • 3 shallots diced
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 quill cinnamon or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 candlenuts or macadamia nuts for texture



To make the paste

  • Using a food processor and add all the ingredients for the fragrant paste and blend until it is a nice slight runny paste. You can add a little chicken stock or oil (a tsp or so) to give a little wetness to the paste.
  • Stop from time to time and wipe down the sides of the food processor bowl with a spatula so all the ingredients are blended evenly.

Coconut chicken

  • Wash the chicken then dice it into 3cm chunks.
  • Set element to medium heat. Add the fragrant paste to the pan or pot with a tiny amount of oil.
  • Stir to cook out the paste for 3–5 minutes to bring out the flavour.
  • Add the chicken to the cooked paste mix and stir gently so that the paste coats the chicken well.
  • Add in the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg and mix again
  • Add in the chicken stock and coconut cream.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite sides - we served with rice and green beans and toasted almond slices.


Recipe courtesy of Rose and Jim Ken from and part of their Indonesian recipe collection.
Serve this dish with a beautiful Gago Gado salad for a shared family meal.
Keyword dairy free, gluten free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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