Kalio with Chicken

Kalio with Chicken

Kalio with Chicken

A juicy chicken in a slightly spicy sauce: this chicken recipe from Beb Vuyk is called kalio with chicken. When I search online, I learn that kalio with chicken is from Sumatra (Padang).

Most of the pictures online of kalio with chicken show chicken in a beautiful yellow sauce. Beb’s recipe states that the sauce needs to reduce and thicken but if you keep it pretty ‘wet’ it is probable fine too. It will provide a nice sauce to add to your rice.

Kalio with Chicken

I halve the ingredients because we eat this kalio with 2 people but the original recipe is enough for 4 people and is ready in 45 minutes.

Kalio with Chicken (Kalio Ajam – Padang) # 286 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Cookbook, page 245.


  • 1 chicken of 1000 to 1200 grams cut into pieces
  • 1/4 block of santen (coconut cream)
  • 1/4 L of water


  • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sambal ulek
  • 2 roasted candle nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of galangal
  • 1 teaspoon of kunjit
  • 1 jeruk purut (lemon/kaffir lime leaves)
  • salt
  1. Cut the chicken into large pieces.
  2. Rub the onions, garlic, chili salsa, candlenuts, galangal and kunjit together into a paste.
  3. Add the chicken to boiling water with the salt and add the herb paste and the jeruk purut leaf.
  4. When the chicken is half-cooked, add the block of santen and let the dish simmer until the chicken is done and the sauce is reduced.

Kalio with Chicken ingredients

Candlenuts (I buy at my Asian store) are fatty nuts that you have to roast before you use them, otherwise they are slightly poisonous.

I place a candlenut in a pan without oil and, just like pine nuts, I let them turn slightly brown.

Candlenut paste

You can also buy candlenut paste in a jar at the Asian store. This paste consists of candlenuts already finely ground. 1 teaspoon is equal to two nuts.

My sambal ulek is finished so I chop up half a chili pepper and add that to the paste. Sambal ulek is easy to make yourself and you can keep it for a long time in the fridge. Check out this link.

Santen is thick coconut cream, available at my supermarket and definitely at an Asian food store. You can recplace it with (thick) coconut milk. One block of santen is the same as 1 liter of coconut milk. So for this recipe I use 250 ml of coconut milk.

Jeruk purut leaves are kaffir lime or lemon leaves. Used in Thai cuisine as well.

Herb paste for Kalio with chicken

The amount of onions and garlic is not too big, so I use my old mortar (cobek) to grind everything nicely. I do not cut my onion into dice, because then they shoot out of the mortar while rubbing. I cut my onion in crescent moons; a lot more convenient for my cobek.

In the meantime I place my chickens in a tiny bit of water (1/8 liter) with some salt (half a teaspoon).

After 5-8 minutes of simmering (with the lid on the pan) the herbs can be added and after 5 minutes also the santen and the lemon leaves (jeruk purut).

In total, chicken always needs quite some time (over half an hour) to be done. I therefore also let this chicken simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If you want to let the sauce thicken well, leave the lid of the pan for the last 5 minutes.

You can make this dish a day before eating or early in the morning. This kalio of chicken is only going to be tastier.

We eat our kalio with white rice and sambal goreng buncis. The meat is very tender and the color is so appetising. It does not disappoint at all. The creamy and slightly spicy coconut sauce makes everything delicious! Selamat Makan!

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