Not your usual Indonesian dish, but this is just too delicious not to share. The traditional combination of onion, garlic and ginger is so comforting… give it a try. The name is no justice to the dish by the way 😉
What you’ll need for 4 persons:
– a blender (traditionally a cobek is used)
– Wesson vegetable oil
– 500 gram chicken thighs
– 1 large onion (or 3 shallots)
– 2 gloves of garlic
– piece of fresh ginger about 4 cm
– 3 (or more) hot chillies ( I like to use the red Serrano chillies)
– Fresh lemon grass
– tablespoon of turmeric (if you have fresh: about same size as ginger)
– 400 – 500 mls santen (the water coming of the rehydrated coconut)
Cut the onion or the shallots into large pieces and add to the blender. Do the same with the garlic, ginger (and if you have fresh turmeric), and chillies. Blend it all together until you have a smooth paste.
Cut your chicken in smaller pieces, add it to a bow and smother it in the paste (with a spoon, or your fingers will stain from the turmeric and burn from the chillies).
Boil the kettle and carefully pour boiling water in the bowl with desiccated coconut, leave to draw for about 5 minutes. To drain the santen, you can take a sieve and pour the liquid through it into another bowl. I usually use about a cup of coconut to about 300 mls of boiled water. You can re-use the coconut about 3 times.
Heat a wok on high heat and add some vegetable oil. When the oil is hot you can start adding the chicken, bit by bit, or the heat will go lost. Once the chicken has browned a little you can add the first batch of santen. Bring it to a boil, and lower the heat to a simmer.
Now you can add the lemon grass, if you bruise of cut the lemon grass before adding it to a dish the flavour really comes through. Let the chicken simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
This dish is best enjoyed with steamed basmati rice and a fresh cucumber salad.