Indonesian Gulai

Indonesian Gulai

Chicken or another protein of choice simmers in a rich coconut sauce with a note of lemongrass, galangal, and makrut lime. This is Gulai, an Indonesian favorite. It's simple to prepare and ready in no time. Try to use up some leftover eggs? Gulai make hardboiled eggs appear in a new delight.
hands-on time 30 mins
Course Recipes
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 3


  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz
  • 1 English cucumber sliced
  • 8 oz broccoli or bok choy steamed
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped or grated
  • oil
  • salt

Gulai Culinary Spice Kit

  • Lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, mint, makrut lime, chili, coriander, star anise, lemon crystal, lime peel


  • anchovy or shrimp paste to taste
  • fresh chilies


  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • In a POT, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Fry onions and garlic for 1 minute.
  • Carefully of splatters, add tomato puree and Gulai spices.
  • Optionally, add anchovy or shrimp paste. Mix well.
  • Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken and 1 cup hot water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Optionally, add whole fresh chilies.
  • Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  • Take the chicken out, shred it with two forks, and return it to the sauce.
  • Serve with rice, steamed vegetables, and cucumber slices.
  • Enjoy!


  • Substitute chicken with turkey, beef or pork tenderloin, lamb or fish fillet, lentils, tofu, or 6-8 hard-boiled eggs.
  • Substitute coconut milk with heavy cream.