Opor ayam is an Indonesian chicken dish originating from the central to Eastern parts of the Java islands. This is usually served to enliven Ramadan in our tradition, along with ketupat and sambal goreng kentang (chile-fried potato).


Recipe Summary

15 mins
50 mins
30 mins
1 hr 35 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak chicken pieces in lemon juice for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast candlenuts, coriander, and cumin in the skillet until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large mortar and pestle and grind into a paste with shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, peppercorns, and turmeric. Work in batches if necessary.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spice paste and stir until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemongrass, tamarind juice, lime leaves, bay leaves, salt, and sugar.

  • Rinse lemon juice off chicken pieces and slide them into the skillet. Turn to coat evenly with spices. Pour in thin and thick coconut milk. Simmer until flavors combine, about 30 minutes. Add basil leaves. Continue cooking until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes more.

  • Serve chicken and sauce in a bowl, sprinkled with fried shallots.

Cook's Note:

Substitute salam leaves for the bay leaves if desired. Use lime basil leaves if you can find them.

Nutrition Facts

538 calories; protein 17.1g 34% DV; carbohydrates 18.5g 6% DV; fat 45.9g 71% DV; cholesterol 38.4mg 13% DV; sodium 432.8mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition