Opor Ayam.

In Indonesian ‘opor’ is a meat dish cooked in coconut milk with spices, while ‘ayam’ means chicken, ergo Indonesian Chicken Curry, although you can make it as hot or as mild as you want, depending on the amount of chilli you use. This is a pleasant summer curry with a delicious sweet/sour background taste.


¼ cup olive oil.

300g chicken breast meat, sliced.

1 onion, peeled and chopped.

1 25mm knob garlic, chopped.

1 green chilli, seeded and chopped.

½ teaspoon turmeric.

2 tspn ground cumin.

1 tspn ground coriander.

1 cup water.

1 tablespoon raw sugar.

1 stalk lemon grass.

1 piece galangal*.

1 tspn tamarind paste.

½ cup coconut milk.

2 kaffir lime leaves**.

Coriander greens for garnish.


Heat the oil in a pan over a hot flame and quickly stir fry the meat until well browned. Remove from the pan and set to one side. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, turmeric, coriander and cumin and stir fry for 2-3 minutes then add the water.

Reduce heat and cook, stirring for another 2-3 minutes then add the meat, galangal, sugar, lemon grass, tamarind and coconut milk. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes to cook the meat fully and allow the sauce to thicken.

Remove and discard the galangal and lemon grass. Place in a bowl, cover and leave in a cool place for 3-4 hours. Reheat gently, and serve with rice and a side dish of stir fried vegetables.

Serves: 2.


*. If galangal is unavailable [it usually comes in large dried slices, rather like bits of old leather] ginger is an acceptable substitute.

**. Fresh Kaffir lime leaves are not always available, but most Asian supermarkets stock little jars of pickled leaves. I teaspoon of the pickle equals two fresh leaves.

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