This Tangy Turmeric Lemongrass Chicken is colorful, fragrant, flavorful, and zesty. Easy to prepare and perfect with steamed rice.
I recently bought an entire container of fresh turmeric. I could not buy any less because the store only sells them that way. Even so, I was grateful that I could buy it at the local grocery store without having to make a trip to the Asian market. I mentioned it to my Mom on the phone and asked how I might cook all of that half pound of fresh turmeric besides the little need for Acar Awak. She gave me two suggestions. One was this Nyonya Acar Fish (Acar Hu) and the other is today’s Tangy Turmeric Lemongrass Chicken.
I shared a simplified version of this dish some years back where I used ground turmeric in this Lemongrass Turmeric Chicken. I also added some cauliflower florets to make it a one-pan meal. With fresh turmeric on hand, I can now show you Mom’s original version of the dish.
I do love the color the vibrant color of the fresh turmeric on the chicken contrasting with the red chilies and green jalapeno peppers. The flavor and fragrance is of course amazing! The only thing to watch out for when using fresh turmeric is the staining of your hands, clothes, and countertop. Otherwise, it is all good. 😉
There is no need to fry the chicken thighs beforehand. Simply add it the pot and cook until most of the gravy has thicken. I left the chicken skin intact but you can always remove it prior to cooking if preferred. Otherwise, the recipe is quite straightforward. Do give it a try.
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Tangy Turmeric Lemongrass Chicken
- 2 oz fresh turmeric (56g)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 small onion / 6 shallots (peeled)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lemongrass (bottom 8 inches), smashed
- 10 chicken thighs
- 1¼ cups water (300ml)
- 2 tbsp lime juice from 1 lime
- 2 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
- 2 jalapeno pepper / green chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Blend turmeric, garlic, and onion (or shallots) until fine. Add 2 tablespoons water if necessary to get the blender going.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot. Add ground turmeric paste and lemongrass. Saute for 3 minutes on medium until fragrant.
- Add chicken thighs. Toss to coat with turmeric paste.
- Pour in water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 minutes.
- Add lime juice, red chilies, jalapeno/green chilies, and salt. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off stove.
- Transfer to a serving dish.