Balinese Chicken Curry

“You look good today Rhonda. Hot like a sunrise…”

This curry is so damn good, you’ll have your very own Katut knocking down your door to taste what you’ve knocked up.

Don’t be freaked out by the long list of ingredients, or by making your own curry paste. It’s all about bunging it all in and pressing a button (I’m assured this is the authentic, ancient Balinese way of doing things). All these ingredients are readily available in your supermarket too, so don’t think you have to traipse all over town to specialty stores.

Oh, and if you aren’t Australian and have no idea who Rhonda and Katut are, soz. If you’re keen to know, watch this great Bali holiday love story disguised as a car insurance ad on you tube.


Toast your cashews in a medium to low pan for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them and shuffle them around. You’ll smell them toasting. Remove from heat and put into bowl of the appliance you’re using to make the curry paste.

If you have a thermomix, or a powerful blender or mini food processor, you can throw all the ingredients in together and whizz to a paste. If you know your machine is a little on the crap side, you may want to grate/chop/crush the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal first to help it along.

Heat a large pot/pan over medium to high heat. Spoon in the paste and fry for a minute or so until fragrant.

Pour in the coconut milk and stock and stir.

Thrown in the lime leaves and add the chicken thighs, coating them in the sauce.

Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer gently, uncovered for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is soft and cooked through and sauce has reduced.

Add in the remaining lime juice.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serve with cauliflower rice.

Serves 4


  • 8 large chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

For the curry paste…

  • 1/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Thumb-size piece of ginger
  • Small piece of galangal
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
  • 1-2 Birdseye chillis (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce or shrimp paste
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Zest of 1 lime, juice of half the lime