Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken Curry with Indonesian Black Nuts)

Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken Curry with Indonesian Black Nuts)

contributed by Nyonya Lian Tan

1 chicken approximate 1.5kg, clean and cut into pieces or pork ribs

20 buak keluak (see Notes)

200 grams minced prawns (optional)

200 grams minced pork

2 stalks lemon grass cut into 5-6 cm length

6 tablespoons oil

Tamarind about 5 tablespoons, add warm water and strain for juice a few times. Discard seeds and pulp.

Rempah: Ingredients to be ground finely.

Chillies ( a full handful of dry chillies , approximately 30, soak in hot water to soften before grinding. Alternatively use 2 heaped tablespoons of chilli powder )

Onions – 2 large

Candle nuts 7

Lemon grass 2-3 stalks, use white stem only

Galangal – 7 slices

Shrimp paste about one and a half tablespoons

Turmeric about 3 cm

3 cloves garlic


1. Pound or blend ingredients.

2. Fry in 5 tablespoons of oil till fragrant, about 2-3 mins.

3. Take out one fifth, mix with mince pork and stuff into shell of buah keluak. Leave aside.

4. Add in lemon grass stems and meat into saucepan with the rest of ingredients. Mix well.

5. Add 3 cups tamarind juice , 1 dessertspoons sugar, and salt to taste.

6. Half way through cooking, add in buah keluak . Stir now and then until meat is cooked.

Serve with plain rice.


1. Buah keluak in the shells have to be soaked in water for at least a day before use.

The shells are broken and opened carefully , enough to remove the meat. The empty shells are then filled with the ingredients mixed with nut meat for cooking.

2. Buah keluak is available in dry form in a packet in Indonesian grocery shops in Maroubra.

Make into balls and throw them in for cooking. Not so thrilling when you have no shells to

scoop out the meat! However the taste of the chicken and sauce is still good.

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