2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
½ tablespoon palm sugar
1kg boneless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
200ml coconut milk
6 makrut lime leaves, ribs removed and thinly sliced
jasmine rice, to serve
1 banana shallot, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2½cm-piece ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed
5cm-piece galangal, or ginger with 2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 red chillies, deseeded
5cm-piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

If you enjoy the popular dish rendang, either with chicken or beef, kalio will certainly be another favourite. The sauce is thick and creamy, not dry like rendang, but the flavour is almost the same, except that it contains no toasted coconut and is also quicker to cook


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1.Blitz together the paste ingredients with 2 tablespoons water using a handheld stick blender or food processor until fine and smooth.
2.Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium heat and cook the paste for 2 minutes until fragrant.
3.Next, add the tamarind, salt and sugar, continue to cook for 1 minute and then stir in the chicken.
4.Cook for 3 minutes to seal and then stir in the coconut milk, together with 200ml water.
5.Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
6.Next, add the lime leaves, give everything a good stir and turn off the heat.
7.Divide the curry between four serving bowls, and serve with jasmine rice.

Recipes extracted
with permission from
Bowlful by Norman
Musa (HarperCollins,
$49.99). Photography
Luke J Albert.