served ayam paniki

How to Make Ayam Paniki (Indonesian Spicy Chicken)

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Damian

Welcome to another great chicken recipe! Ayam paniki, a wonderful Indonesian spicy chicken curry. One of my favorite chicken curry which is easy to make and the best in flavor!

To make ayam paniki, simply grind a spice paste and fry it lightly. Add chicken pieces to your liking and fry on high heat. Add coconut milk to finish the cooking process on low heat, this will leave an amazingly tender and spiced chicken curry!

Before we continue on how to make ayam paniki, I want to recommend adding nasi uduk or nasi kuning to this dish to have an amazing main course! Start with one of the two before making ayam paniki.

served ayam paniki

What is ayam paniki?

Ayam paniki translates to “spicy chicken”, where paniki refers to the use of of a flavorful and spicy sauce or curry. The dish originates from North Sulawesi, Indonesia and is known for being very spicy.

I personally added some bell peppers for extra volume, sweetness and to dilute the spiciness and make the dish more approachable, let’s check it out!

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Step 1: Collect the ingredients

served ayam paniki

Ayam paniki

Ayam paniki! A very flavorful spicy chicken curry which goes great with rice (nasi uduk in particular). Try it out!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4 large servings
Calories 536 kcal


  • Food processor


  • 1 kg chicken legs (or preferred)
  • 2 or 3 bell peppers
  • 4 or 5 red chillies (~10cm)
  • 2 red onions
  • 400 ml coconut milk


  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried garlic flakes (or fresh)
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder (masala or other)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Grind the spice paste
  • Fry the spice paste and chicken
  • Cook ayam paniki
  • Serve ayam paniki
Keyword Ayam paniki

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

When it comes to cooking, the ingredients you choose can really make or break a dish. If you’re making a spicy chicken curry, like the recipe listed above, it’s important to consider the ingredients that will complement and enhance the flavor.

Bell peppers and red onions add extra depth and sweetness to the dish, while red chillies provide the heat. Coconut milk creates a creamy base to balance out the spice, and a variety of spices like paprika, turmeric, and cumin add layers of flavor.

The key is finding the right balance of spices and ingredients to create a cohesive and delicious dish. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you and your taste preferences!

ayam paniki ingredients

Step 2: Grind the spice paste

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to make the spice paste. Chop the onion and garlic roughly, wash the chillies and bell peppers and chop roughly as well.

Using a food processor, grind the red onions, red chillies, and bell peppers until they become a smooth paste.

chopped ingredients
ground ingredients

If you don’t have a food processor, I highly encourage you to get one. Invest in a high quality product as it’s unmissable if you are trying to make some good food! Click here to order the one I have.

Step 3: Fry the spice paste and chicken

Now it’s time to cook! In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook for a few minutes before adding all the spices and cook until it becomes fragrant.

Then, add the chicken legs and fry for a couple of minutes until they are browned.

frying spice paste
frying chicken and spices

Step 4: Cook ayam paniki

Once the chicken is browned, add the coconut milk to the pot and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Make sure to check on the curry frequently and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

adding coconut milk to the pan
ayam paniki almost done

At this point, the ayam paniki should be giving off an amazing smell and have a very nice color. If you have made nasi beforehand, heat it up at this point if needed.

When the ayam paniki is done, get ready to serve!

ayam paniki

Step 5: Serve ayam paniki

As said before, serve ayam paniki hot with nasi kuning or nasi uduk and garnish with some freshly chopped green onions or fried onions. You can also add some sambal on top for an extra kick.

Some sambals I can recommend serving with this recipe:

ayam paniki served

I can also recommend adding ayam paniki to various other dishes to make amazing main courses:

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, let me know what you think and please leave a rating!

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