Ayam Bakar Kencur (BBQ chicken with Kaempferia Galangal)

Ayam Bakar Kencur (BBQ chicken with Kaempferia Galangal)

Ayam Bakar Kencur (BBQ chicken with Kaempferia Galangal)

Ayam Bakar Kencur

I just found fresh Kaempferia Galangal or Peacock Ginger (Kencur) at the local Asian market and I am so happy!! There are a lot of medical benefit of this roots, but to be honest I adore it simply because of its aromatic scent. I have powdered one too but the taste is not the same. I prefer the fresh one (obviously). It is hard to find fresh aromatic roots for cooking here in my city, so whenever I find them, I always buy it in bulk, clean it, cut it into a quarter of an inch, put it in a sealed bag or tupperware and keep it in the freezer. I do this even for ginger. It stays good for quite awhile and taste better than using powdered one. So far I have a jar of each of this; fresh turmeric, ginger, galangal, and kaempferia galangal and am pretty happy with my collection. I have almost all the roots I need for cooking basic Indonesian/ Asian recipes.

Kencur is used a lot in Indonesian cuisine, from fried rice to medical beverage. It has this typical aroma to it that reminds me of back home. Not really explanative about how it smells, isn't?... I associate smells with memory of an event or habit in the past. Yeah, my brain is weird like that. Most or my cookings have this personal nostalgic touch to it, well thats the reason why this blog was born anyway. So for today I make bbq chicken with Kencur taste for the sake of old memory and oh it was so good!!


6 chicken drumsticks (or 4 whole chicken thighs)
2 Indonesian bayleaves (Salam)
2 cm fresh galangal
2 lemongrass
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp gula jawa (Indonesian palm sugar)
2 tbsp Ketjap Manis
400 ml coconut milk (1 can)
3 tbsp oil to sauté

Ingredients to paste:

4 shallots
5 garlic
6 candlenut (kemiri)
1 tsp corriander powder (2 tsp corriander seeds)
5 cm Kaempferia galangal/ Peacock ginger/ kencur

Cooking steps:

  1. Put the ingredients to paste into a food processor and turn the ingredients into paste,
  2. Sauté the pasted ingredients with 3 tbsp of oil on medium heat for 10 minutes or until it fragrants, 
  3. Add the chickenIndonesian bayleaves, galangal, lemongrass, salt and gula jawa into the paste, continue cooking until the chicken changes color (become paler),
  4. Add coconut milk and Ketjap manis, continue cooking until the chicken is cooked and the coconut milk become a thick sauce,
  5. Put the chicken on your bbq grill on medium heat, brush the coconut sauce on the chicken with cooking brush, char the chicken each side until it turns golden brown and has the sexy grill lines on it.
  6. Serve with rice and your favorit sambal!

Happy cooking!!!


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