2cm piece turmeric or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1cm piece galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
900g chicken drums, nibbles or thighs
2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
250ml chicken stock or water
3 makrut lime leaves and/or 3 leafy stems lemongrass
1⁄2 cup sambal bajak (see recipe)
250g green beans, trimmed (optional)

You can use any chicken part here – drums, thighs or nibbles all work well though I tend to avoid breasts which can be a little dry – but you will need to adjust the cooking time. I always have a stash of lemongrass leaves and makrut lime leaves in the freezer and will often pop a few of these to fry with chicken for added flavour. I often add some greens to the mix while it’s cooking – here I have used green beans, but adjust to what you have to hand.

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1.Put the turmeric, coriander, galangal, the chopped lemongrass, shallots and garlic into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste with a little water (I needed around 2 tablespoons).
2.Marinate the chicken pieces in this mix for at least 1 hour but ideally overnight.
3.In a wide pan, heat the oil over a low-medium heat.
4.Salt the chicken and add to the pan along with any marinade.
5.Brown the chicken all over, then add the stock, makrut lime leaves or additional lemongrass and the sambal.
6.Stir well to coat, then cook covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and all the liquid has evaporated (add a little more liquid if you need to), adding the green beans in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
7.This is quite rich, so if you want a little more acidity consider adding a dash of lime or lemon juice, rice vinegar or a small dollop of tamarind paste.
8.Serve with rice and a cucumber salad.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jess Hemmings