Ayam Woku Kemangi

Indonesian Chicken Curry with Thai Basil (Ayam Woku Kemangi)

  • Author: Azlin Bloor
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


Indonesian Chicken curry recipe, (resep Ayam Woku Kemangi), a quick and easy recipe, bursting with the scents of the herbs and aromatics used in cooking it.



Ingredients are not listed in order, instead, I’ve grouped them in type and purpose

  • 500g (1.1 lb) boneless chicken OR 750g (1 3/5 lb) on the bone
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced small (see video)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), sliced


  • 2 large handfuls Thai sweet basil
  • 2 pandan leaves, optional
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves, optional
  • 1 medium length turmeric leaf, optional

Grind to a paste

  • 1 large brown onion, quartered for easier chopping
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2.5cm (1″) ginger, sliced for easier chopping
  • 1 lemongrass, sliced for easier chopping
  • 2 red chillies (heat level up to you), sliced for easier chopping
  • 2.5cm (1″) turmeric OR 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 candlenuts (or 3 macadamia nuts), optional
  • a little water (2-3 Tbsp)


The Herbs

  1. If you have all the herbs, first thing you do, is thinly slice the pandan, kaffir lime and turmeric leaves. Just roll them up into a chiffonade with the biggest on the outside, and slice them. Set aside.


  1. Place all the ingredients in a chopper with a small amount of water and grind to a paste. Set aside.

Cooking Ayam Woku

  1. Heat the oil on high heat in a wok, frying pan or roomy saucepan, and brown the chicken pieces lightly, for a couple of minutes. Your kitchen will smoke a little here.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the spice paste, frying and coating the chicken for about 2 minutes, until you get a beautiful aroma wafting up.
  3. Add the herbs, tomatoes, water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. This will depend on the size of your chicken and whether it’s on the bone or boneless. On the bone chicken like drumsticks will need 30 minutes, even 45, if they are big. Add a little more water if your curry gets too dry.
  4. When the chicken is done, toss in all the Thai basil, stir for 1 minute, to wilt the leaves, then turn the heat off.
  5. Add the lime juice and spring onions and stir. That’s it, dish up. You shouldn’t need anymore salt.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Indonesian


  • Calories: 361
  • Sugar: 5.8g
  • Sodium: 680.6mg
  • Fat: 22.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 25.6g
  • Cholesterol: 93.8mg

Keywords: chicken curry, indonesian, easy recipes