Indonesia Eats

Ayam Garo Rica Recipe (Manado Chili and Lime Basil Chicken)

Longing to make this Ayam Garo Rica for so long! Ayam Garo Rica (Manadonese Chili and Lime Basil Chicken). In the local dialect, Garo means stir fry and Rica means chili pepper.

All I had to do was being patience until my red long cayenne pepper grown more. Yes… I was yielding long red cayenne pepper, lemon basil and turmeric leaves from the pots before they get hit by the cold weather.

The long red cayenne pepper is very useful for Indonesian cooking. To the best of my knowledge, there are two variants of long cayenne pepper that we use in Indonesia. One is cabai merah keriting (curly red); the fruit has a smaller diameter compare to the other one, cabai merah besar (big red). The curly one is slimmer, dense and has a wavy shape. In term of taste, curly red cayenne pepper is more spicy than the big red ones. In this recipe, I used the curly type.

I was messaging Ellen back forward whom native to North Sulawesi and lives in England to get more knowledge about her Manadonese or Minahasan specialty food. This is what I quoted from one of her posting.

“Manadonese or Minahasan almost never use coriander, cumin and kaempferia galangal (or kencur) in food. The basic spices that we call “bumbu” mainly use garlic, shallot, a bit turmeric, lots of ginger, lots of lemon grass, lime basil, tomato, tons of chillies, pandan leaf, mint leaf, daun tebal (Cuban oregano – Coleus Amboinicus. Lour) similar to thyme or oregano, kaffir lime leaf, cloves, nutmeg, mace and white peppercorn.”

I found out also that Manadonese food applies many kind of leafy ingredients that I have never known before. For example:

Daun Gedi
Botanical name: Hibiscus manihot L.
Other names:
* English: Edible hibiscus leaf
* Indonesian: Daun dedi, Daun belender
* Tagalog: Lagikuway
* Thai: Po fai

Daun Leilem
Botanical name: Clerondendrum minahassae
Native to Minahasa (Indonesia) and the Philippines
Other names:
* English: White glory bower

Daun Pangi
Botanical name: pangium edule
Other names:
* Indonesian: daun keluwak

Daun Nasi
Botanical name: Halopegia blumei (Koern.)K.Schumann
Other names:
Indonesian: Daun patat (Sundanese), jelantir (Javanese), langkuwas (Kangean)

Daun Tebal
Botanical name: Coleus amboinicus Lour
Other names:
* English: Country borage, Indian mint, Mexican mint, Cuban oregano
* Indonesian: Bangun-bangun (North Sumatra), daun kucing, daun kambing
* Chinese: Zuo shou xiang, yin du bo he, dao shou xiang
* Japanese: Kuuban oregano
* Vietnamese: Tan day la

Daun Werot
This leafy plant is quite unique, because most people know as an ornamental plant, croton varieties. But, the Minahasan uses for cooking croton varieties of plants. This leaf is added to reduce odour of beef, chicken, pork, and water buffalo.
Botanical name: Codiaeum variegatum
Other names:
* English: Garden croton

Woooo, what a long list for leaf seasonings. Let’s move on to the recipe.

Ayam Garo Rica
– Manadonese Chili and Lime Basil Chicken –
recipe by Ikaray, modified by me

Ingredients:
500 g chickens (thighs and drumsticks)
1/2 cup lime basil (or you can use thai basil)
10 kaffir lime leaves, torn
3 pandan leaves, thinly sliced
2 turmeric leaves, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen ground lemon grass (available at Asian markets)-> originally, it was used 2 lemongrass and thinly sliced
5 calamansis
3 tbsp EV coconut oil
sea salt

Spices to be ground:
6 shallots (use 10 shallots for smaller size)
10 long red cayenne pepper
10 bird eye chilies
3 cm peeled ginger
1/2 tsp seasalt

Methods:
1. In a medium bowl, drizzle 2 calamansis and sprinkle sea salt over chicken. Set a side for 15 minutes in the fridge.

2. At medium-high, heat oil in a wok. Stir fry ground spices until fragrant.

3. Add chicken, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, panda leaves, and turmeric leaves; stir well.

4. Reduce to low heat, place the lid on and let chicken simmer until tender and cook through

5. Open the lid and continue simmering. Add sea salt and sugar to season, taste.

6. Add lime basil and green onion, cook until the mixture is slightly thicken.

7. Remove from heat, drizzle 3 calamansis over and mix well.

Serve with steamed rice.

Resources of the herbs: Many sources from the internet

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34 thoughts on “Ayam Garo Rica Recipe (Manado Chili and Lime Basil Chicken)”

  1. I am a fans of Manadonese foods … Perhaps because I love hot and spicy foods. But it seems chillis grown in Menado have a different level of spiciness (hotter) than any other places. This is according to one of my Manadonese friend, and I agree with her.

  2. Lia, I found the cayenne pepper that I planted here hotter than the one that I used to have in Java. As well the bird eye chilies are hotter than our cabe rawit

  3. I am a fans of Manadonese foods … Perhaps because I love hot and spicy foods. But it seems chillis grown in Menado have a different level of spiciness (hotter) than any other places. This is according to one of my Manadonese friend, and I agree with her.

  4. Lia, I found the cayenne pepper that I planted here hotter than the one that I used to have in Java. As well the bird eye chilies are hotter than our cabe rawit

  5. Cemara Photography

    This is one of my favorite food Pep. Rica rica. but I don't know what is calamansis is? and do you know where to get tumeric leaves? thx

  6. Xiaolu @ 6 Bitterswe

    I don't even eat chicken but you've got my mouth watering with this lovely photo. Perhaps I could substitute fish or some type of wheat gluten in order to try these lovely flavors.

  7. Cemara Photography

    This is one of my favorite food Pep. Rica rica. but I don't know what is calamansis is? and do you know where to get tumeric leaves? thx

  8. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    I don't even eat chicken but you've got my mouth watering with this lovely photo. Perhaps I could substitute fish or some type of wheat gluten in order to try these lovely flavors.

  9. Cook with Madin

    This is a fantastic dish. I love all the flavors you have here. If I cannot find calamansi, is it okay to substitute them with lime or lemon? I miss calamansi,it's just give a different kind of flavor in every dish. we use them a lot back in the Philippines. Lemongrass are always available in the markets here. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  10. @MaryMoh: I bet you do love it :)@Pigpiscorner: cayenne pepper is what Malaysian call for cabai merah@CemaraPhotography: Calamansi is jeruk kesturi or lemon cui, populer in North Sulawesi cooking and Chinese-Indonesian. I grew my own turmeric to get turmeric leaves. You may get the dried ones from Simpang Asia.@Magic of Spice: Thank you@Xiaolu: This recipe can be applied for fish, shrimp and other meat substitute@Cooking Galery: I hardly hear that Indonesians don't love this garo rica. :)@Cynthia: You made my day, girl! Thank you.@Torviewtoronto: indeed@Cook with Madin: yes! Absolutely, you can substitute with lime. I'd choose key lime thou. Lemon is ok, but it will change the taste.

  11. Cook with Madin

    This is a fantastic dish. I love all the flavors you have here. If I cannot find calamansi, is it okay to substitute them with lime or lemon? I miss calamansi,it's just give a different kind of flavor in every dish. we use them a lot back in the Philippines. Lemongrass are always available in the markets here. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  12. Wow this looks so good. I adore spicy food. Just haven't been able to make it as much bc my son. I love all the ingredients too. Lemon basil, peppers, yummm.

  13. @MaryMoh: I bet you do love it 🙂

    @Pigpiscorner: cayenne pepper is what Malaysian call for cabai merah

    @CemaraPhotography: Calamansi is jeruk kesturi or lemon cui, populer in North Sulawesi cooking and Chinese-Indonesian. I grew my own turmeric to get turmeric leaves. You may get the dried ones from Simpang Asia.

    @Magic of Spice: Thank you

    @Xiaolu: This recipe can be applied for fish, shrimp and other meat substitute

    @Cooking Galery: I hardly hear that Indonesians don't love this garo rica. 🙂

    @Cynthia: You made my day, girl! Thank you.

    @Torviewtoronto: indeed

    @Cook with Madin: yes! Absolutely, you can substitute with lime. I'd choose key lime thou. Lemon is ok, but it will change the taste.

  14. Wow this looks so good. I adore spicy food. Just haven't been able to make it as much bc my son. I love all the ingredients too. Lemon basil, peppers, yummm.

  15. I am also a fan of Manado food. Visited it last year and I love the rica, especially the one served with tomatoes and soya manis. Yum..yum..and in Manado, the rica is really spicy. I am a Malaysian and I find that very appetising. I am glad that I found your blog. Now I can start cooking Manado and even Bandung food. Do you have the recipe for Nasi Timbel that is a specialty of Bandung, served with various kind of spicy condiments (rica)?

  16. I am also a fan of Manado food. Visited it last year and I love the rica, especially the one served with tomatoes and soya manis. Yum..yum..and in Manado, the rica is really spicy. I am a Malaysian and I find that very appetising. I am glad that I found your blog. Now I can start cooking Manado and even Bandung food. Do you have the recipe for Nasi Timbel that is a specialty of Bandung, served with various kind of spicy condiments (rica)?

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