Cooking Reddish Curry: a Cultural Product of Aceh


Reddish Curry–Meat, lamb, and chicken are something delicious to eat and if the way to serve them is through a combination of exotic middle eastern and Indian flavor, the insane smell while it is cooking will knock your socks off.

A region that once had been settled by traders from middle-east and Gujarat India has now popular with their reddish curry. This region is now part of Indonesia located in the westernmost site of Nusantara`s archipelago, the so-called area ” Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam”.

What makes Aceh`s curry is their more than 20 kinds of spices to give taste to the meat or chicken. People who have not been to Aceh to try it will think it is a Padang`s food.

It`s such a legendary food. No one knows when exactly Acehnese began to cook reddish curry. But probably it happened first in the early 13 century where the assimilation process happened there.

Traditionally, local people of Aceh accustomed to cooking it for gathering moments such as Idul Fitri and Idul Adha or Maulidur rasul prophet Muhammad SAW.

Well, this is my own experience to cook Aceh`s reddish curry and therefore I want to share my signature recipes for everyone who is interested in cooking.


  1. meat/chicken 2kg
  2. roasted coconut ( 1 coconut )
  3. coconut milk ( 1 coconut )
  4. potatoes 1kg
  5. shallot 8 cloves
  6. garlic 5 cloves
  7. small chili
  8. Cayenne ( one spoon)
  9. red chili 0.5 grams
  10. Asam sunti (Latin: Averrhoa Bilimbi) 0.5 grams
  11. turmeric
  12. ginger
  13. galangale
  14. coriander
  15. white pepper
  16. cumin
  17. nutmeg
  18. candlenut
  19. clove
  20. clove flower
  21. cardamom
  22. lemongrass
  23. curry leaf
  24. pandanus
  25. bay leaf
  26. cinnamon
  27. salt, and
  28. vegetable oil

Steps to serve Aceh`s reddish curry

  1. shallots, garlic, ginger, galangale, red chili, cayenne, coriender, nutmeg, candlenut, asam sunti, turmeric, pepper, cumin are grinded together.
  2. marinate the chicken (no need if that meat) with salt and lemon, keep it for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. after 30 minutes, mix the chicken with the grinded flavors and add roasted coconut, then cook it (pour 3 spoons of vegetable oil into the pan).
  4. while cooking the chicken, pour the coconut milk little by little.
  5. then, add cinnamon, bay leaf, lemongrass, clove, clove flower, and cardamom.
  6. cook the chicken until it absorbs the flavors, add potatoes, and then wait for it until boiled.
  7. make sure the chicken is well-cooked.
  8. the reddish curry is ready to serve.

Acehnese serve the reddish curry with rice as their main meal for a feast but you may also eat it with flatbread.

Ilustration: Masak Mirah Nasara Pak Leman

Those are all steps to serve the Aceh`s reddish curry. Cooking is my routine while isolating myself due to outbreak of Coronavirus, anyway. Now, you can try it at home. bye.




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