Margarita's International Recipes


Ayam Cincane

East Kalimantan Style Roasted Chicken

This is a traditional dish from Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan. The chicken is first cooked in a spiced coconut milk sauce and then grilled - traditionally over charcoal. I baked it instead, as I hadn't yet readied my grill for the season.

I can't say I was overly impressed, the chicken was tasty but not special enough to justify the hard-to-find ingredients and elaborate preparations. Fortunately, I did have all the ingredients at home except for the salaam leaves which are pretty hard to find in America (unless you mail order them). I used regular bay leaves instead.


East Kalimantan Style Roasted Chicken


  • 2-3 lbs chicken parts
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 10 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 5 red chilies, seeded
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruised
  • 1" ginger, peeled and bruised
  • 1" galangal, peeled and bruised
  • 2 salaam leaves, curry leaves or bay leaves
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp palm or brown sugar


Rub salt and lime juice on chicken pieces. Let rest for 15 minutes and then pat dry.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle, puree together the shallots, garlic, chilies and shrimp paste. Set aside.

Mix the tamarind pulp with the water and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallot paste, the lemon grass, ginger, galangal and bay leaves. Stir fry until the paste is cooked through and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook until it turns white, turning half way. Add the coconut milk, additional salt to taste, sugar and the tamarind water. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and sugar in the sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens, about 10 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer chicken pieces to a baking sheet, pour sauce over it and roast for 25 minutes. Alternatively, grill or broil the chicken pieces.

Adapted from a recipe at Recipes Indonesia

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