Chicken Makassar

A nice succulent chicken dish; that’s what I’m looking forward to today. There are drumsticks on sale in my local supermarket and this chicken from Makassar (the capital of South Sulawesi) by Beb Vuyk seems a very suitable candidate. Especially the tamarind (asem) in this dish sounds delicious.

Beb calls it boendoe boendoe. If I google I find a similar recipe in Indonesian called ayam bundu bundu from Makassar. In this recipe pandan leaf is used instead of salam and some fresh ginger is added too. The chicken is cooked until dry.

Nice alternative, but I will follow Beb Vuyk’s recipe here (I make all her 578 recipes from her cookbook on this blog).

Chicken with spices from Makassar (boendoe-boendoe Makasar) #292 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 249.


1 chicken á 1000 – 1200 grams
1/6 block santen (coconut cream)
1/2 liter of water


5 tablespoons chopped onion
2 chopped cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of laos (galangal)
1/2 teaspoon fine black pepper
1 lemongrass stalk
asem (tamarind) the size of a walnut
1 pandan leaf (or salam)

Bring water to the boil with the santen, the rubbed spices (onion, garlic, galangal, black pepper), the lemongrass, the salam leaf and salt.

Add the chopped up chicken and let it all cook until the chicken is done and the sauce thickened.

Make asem water with 3 tablespoons of water added to it and add to the chicken before serving.

The ingredients are super simple. I buy sereh (lemongrass) at the supermarket.

I use salam leaf because I still have some in stock. I get them dried or fresh (from the freezer) at the Toko.

Asem is tamarind. I buy it in a jar. The tamarind has already been filtered. I dilute it with three tablespoons of water before using it.

Santen is coconut cream sold in blocks at the supermarket. You can use coconut milk instead.

I rub the onions, garlic and galangal powder together in my cobek (mortar).

Meanwhile, I boil the water, along with the santen. I add the rubbed spice mix, the salam leaf, and lemongrass and bring it to the boil again. Then the chicken drumsticks can go in.

I cook the chicken gently until done. It takes about 20 minutes.

Now I pour everything into a nice serving bowl and then I pour in the tamarind. The tamarind creates a slightly sour punch in flavor. The acidity lets all the tender flavors stand out. Delicious.

We eat this juicy chicken dish from Makassar with white rice, a sambal celery and pickled cucumbers (acar). Summer on a plate!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *