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Gulai Kambing: Spicy Goat Curry with Coconut Milk

Indonesia, a land of incredible diversity and richness in flavors and spices, has blessed us with a myriad of mouthwatering dishes. Among these, one stands out as a perfect blend of spicy and creamy, a true indulgence that will leave you craving for more: Gulai Kambing. This spicy goat curry with coconut milk is a popular dish in various regions of Indonesia, especially Sumatra and Java. Its unique combination of spices, chilies, and coconut milk creates a rich, flavorful sauce that complements the tender goat meat. The dish is often served during special occasions such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, but it is also enjoyed as a delicious everyday meal. So, let us dive into the world of Gulai Kambing and explore its enticing ingredients and preparation.

Gulai Kambing: Spicy Goat Curry with Coconut Milk


  • 1 kg goat meat, cut into 3-4 cm pieces
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 2 turmeric leaves (optional)
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Spice Paste:

  • 6 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 dried red chilies, soaked in warm water
  • 3 fresh red chilies
  • 3 candlenuts
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp galangal

Cooking Steps:

  • 1. Prepare the spice paste by blending all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a smooth, thick paste.
  • 2. Heat oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the spice paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and turmeric leaves (if using). Sauté until fragrant and the oil begins to separate from the paste, about 5-7 minutes.
  • 3. Add the goat meat to the pan and cook until the meat changes color and is coated with the spice mixture.
  • 4. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  • 5. Stir in the coconut milk, tamarind paste, palm sugar, and salt. Continue to simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning with extra salt or sugar if needed.
  • 6. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti, and enjoy your delicious Gulai Kambing!

To ensure the best flavor and quality, it is essential to use fresh ingredients when preparing Gulai Kambing. Choose a young, tender goat and make sure to trim any excess fat and sinew to avoid a gamey taste. For the spices, grind them fresh just before using to release their full flavor potential. And, of course, don’t skimp on the coconut milk, as it is the key to achieving that luscious, velvety sauce that makes this dish so irresistible. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to a delicious, authentic Indonesian culinary experience!

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