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Ayam Kalio (Saucy Chicken Rendang)

Posting Date: 11/18/18

Ayam Kalio (Saucy Chicken Rendang)

Ayam Kalio (Saucy Chicken Rendang) uses the same spices and ingredients as chicken rendang. However, it is cooked until the liquid is reduced by half, instead of all gone as in chicken rendang. Thus, it has more sauce (liquid) than chicken rendang. So, if you like your chicken to be saucy, you should make ayam kalio, instead of chicken rendang. If you have never had rendang before, it is full of flavor from the spices used. Rendang originated in Padang, Sumatra and is famous in Indonesia and other neighbouring countries (Singapore and Malaysia) because of the immigration of Padang people. I personally prefer beef rendang than chicken rendang. However, if I use chicken, I prefer ayam kalio because of the sauce.

In this recipe, I use chicken drumstick but you can use chicken thigh, wing, or breast. This dish is a one-pot meal. It takes time to reduce the liquid to half but it is really worth it because the sauce is very flavorful and good with the rice.

This recipe serves for 3 people.


  • For spice paste: 6 small or 2 large size shallots, quartered
  • For spice paste: 4 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or to taste. If you like it hot, you can add more sambal oelek. You can use 2 jalapeno peppers or more, instead.
  • For spice paste: 1" fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • For spice paste: 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • For spice paste: 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lemongrass, white part smashed with back of knife. Discard the green part.
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves. If you cannot find them, use 1/2 teaspoon lime zest.
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 6 pieces chicken drumstick. You can use breast, thigh, or wing if preferred.
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt or to taste


  1. Process shallots, garlic, sambal oelek, ginger, turmeric powder, and coriander powder in a food processor until they become smooth paste.
  2. Heat vegetable oil on a pot over medium high heat. Saute spice paste until fragrant. Add lemon grass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves. Saute for 1 min. Add chicken into the pot. Stir fry the chicken so that it is coated with the spice paste. Add tamarind concentrate and coconut milk and make sure the chicken is submerged in the coconut milk. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked and soft. Add salt and sugar. Taste it. Add more salt or sugar if needed. Reduce the heat to low and cook it further until the liquid is reduced by half. Once the liquid has been reduced by half, remove from the heat. Discard lemongrass and kaffir and bay leaves.
  3. Serve it with rice.

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