Easy Fragrant Balinese Chicken Curry from Scratch


I’m off to Bali next week! Woo hoo!! I love the warm weather and the delicious Balinese food.  Each time we visit I attend cooking classes and collect as many recipes as possible. This Fragrant Balinese Chicken Curry is a recipe I developed from a smoked slow cooked duck dish we made in a previous class.

Balinese Chicken Recipe

Balinese Chicken Recipe


Paleo Chicken Curry

Fragrant Balinese Chicken Curry

Julie Carlyle
This is a simple dish that you will make again and again.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Servings 6 people


  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1/2 red capsicum cut into strips
  • 200 gm coconut cream
  • 4 pcs lemongrass crushed slightly
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves sliced finely
  • 2 limes 1 lime for juice - 1 lime for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander

Spice Paste

  • 8 shallots (small onion -not green spring onion)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 5 small hot red chilli
  • 4 large mild red chilli
  • 30 gm fresh ginger peeled
  • 30 gm galangal peeled
  • 30 gm fresh tumeric peeled
  • 3 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 TBS palm sugar
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil


Spice Paste

  • Place all the spice paste ingredients in TM Bowl. Blend 10 sec/Speed 9.
  • Scrape down the bowl. Blend 30sec/Speed 9. Repeat until paste forms. (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor)
  • Place one cup of the Balinese Spice Paste in a jar and pour a thin layer of oil over the top. Seal the jar and refrigerate for future use.

Balinese Chicken Curry

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  • Add the chicken thigh fillets to a large glass bowl.
  • Pour the spice paste over the chicken. The chicken can be allowed to marinate in the spices or cooked straight away. (cover and refrigerate if marinating)
  • Add the marinated chicken thigh fillets to a roasting tray.
  • Top with sliced capsicum, juice from 1 lime, 1/2 the lime leaves and bruised lemongrass stalks.
  • Cook the chicken uncovered for 10 mins.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and turn each thigh fillet over.
  • Add the coconut milk and remaining lime leaves to the roasting pan and stir the mixture to combine. Continue to cook the curry for a further 10-15 minutes.
  • Garnish with sliced lime and top with coriander leaves.


The Balinese Chicken Curry can be marinated the night before for a super quick weeknight meal.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Balinese Chicken Curry - Prior to Cooking

Balinese Chicken Curry – Prior to Cooking

This recipe is perfectly suited to the Thermomix and so much easier than pounding spices by hand. If you don’t have a Thermomix you can always use a food processor to make the Balinese curry paste.

Coconut Cream Curry

Coconut Cream Curry

Once the spice paste has been made, a portion is reserved for future use so you will be able to prepare any even quicker dish next time you’re in a hurry.

Balinese Chicken Recipe

Balinese Chicken Recipe

Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later.

Balinese Chicken Curry - Pin ME

Balinese Chicken Curry – Pin ME

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Balinese Chicken Curry FoodGawker

Balinese Chicken Curry FoodGawker

Thanks for stopping by!

19 thoughts on “Easy Fragrant Balinese Chicken Curry from Scratch”

  1. Sue says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, definitely a family favourite, great having the extra paste to use for another batch 😊

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi Sue
      I’m so pleased you enjoy the recipe 🥰
      Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment.

  2. Danielle Phillips says:

    5 stars
    Have been eyeing this recipe off for a while and finally made it tonight, it is amazing!!! Sooo full of flavour! Took the seeds out of the small chillis and used the whole 400g tin of coconut cream and still spicy enough for us. Thanks for this fantastic recipe 😄

  3. Mikaela says:

    Hi there, do you keep the seeds in the chilli’s?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi Mikaela,
      It’s up to you whether you keep the seeds or remove them. If you don’t mind a little bit of heat you can leave the seeds in. If you prefer a mild curry take them out 🙂 When you served the curry if you feel it’s too hot just add a little more coconut cream 🙂
      Happy Cooking

  4. Cate Douglas says:

    Have made this for tonights dinner (chicken marinating as we speak) and cannot wait.. I was looking for suggestions on what to serve with the chicken..? tia

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi there Cate, I hope you like the dish, I usually just served this dish with rice, sometimes I add a garlic bread to the oven for the kids. It would also be nice served with some garlic buttered green beans. 🙂
      Happy eating 🙂

  5. Roselyn Keen says:

    Can you use breast instead of thigh?

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi Roselyn
      Yes, you can use breast instead of the thigh but the thigh meat has more flavour and moisture.
      Happy Cooking

  6. Lynne says:

    OMG OMG OMG!! I am in training for a trip to Bali later in the year… if the food tastes this amazing, I’m in for a real treat.
    (I suspect I’ve hit peak Balinese now, and anything else will be a let down. 🙁 )

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      OMG, You are so kind 🙂 Thank you so much for returning to the site and leaving a comment which has totally made my day. 🙂
      Happy cooking 🙂

  7. Sue says:

    Hi, I’m wondering how long the paste will keep in the fridge. I made some in November and have just found the second batch of paste at the back of the fridge, is it ok to use after two months? I poured the layer of oil over the top, but can see now it’s absorbed into the paste. Smells ok…

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi Sue, Thanks for your question. I have done exactly the same thing with the paste. As long as it has been refrigerated and doesn’t have any obvious signs of spoilage or contamination, such as mound, you will be fine to use the paste. It may have lost some of the strong, fresh herb Flavours but it will still make a lovely dish. Thanks again for your question.

  8. Danielle says:

    5 stars
    This was fantastic, just like the curries I enjoyed in Bali. I used double the ginger instead of the galangal, and coconut sugar instead of palm sugar. Quite spicy – next time I might leave out a 2 or 3 of the small red chilli to make it a bit milder for family members that aren’t too keen on spicy food!

    1. Julie Carlyle says:

      Hi Danielle, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the recipe. I agree it can be hard to get the level of spice right for the family. 🙂

  9. Jane says:

    I can imagine the fragrance of the lemongrass mixed with coconut cream. Yeah! I grew up with these ingredients.

  10. Luci's Morsels says:

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious and I wish I could smell it too! Yummy! Thank you for sharing this! Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  11. Brandi Crawford says:

    5 stars
    These photos are gorgeous! This looks so delicious. I have never made my own and definitely need to try this.

  12. Catherine says:

    I love everything in this dish…all those wonderful flavors together…Mmmm this sounds so good!

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