Ayam Begana – A Scrumptious and Simple Recipe From Cocos Islands

A plate of Ayam Begana

If you’re looking for new ways to make chicken fun and exciting, this recipe is for you. Originating in the Cocos Islands, Ayam Begana is a dish served over rice and is infused with the distinct flavors of coconut and a well-balanced mix of spices. With no overly complicated preparation processes and a relatively short list of ingredients, this recipe is a great choice for a great dinner.

The Flavors of Cocos Islands

Part of Australian territory, Cocos (Keeling) Islands have a population of just under 600. Although the location doesn’t have an overabundance of traditional dishes, the flavors used in their cuisine are exciting and bold. The Ayam Begana dish will be fragrant and flavorful, but also spicy.

Freshly cut stalks of lemongrass arranged with lime and ginger on tropical leaves.
What’s Needed for This Dish

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • A tablespoon of olive oil
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Grated – 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 finely chopped large onion
  • 5 finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Half a cup of curry powder
  • Half a cup of sambal
  • 1 cup of water
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Rice to serve the dish on

chicken breasts, cubed into bite-sized pieces
Preparing Ayam Begana

To make this special dish from Cocos Islands, mix the chicken with turmeric and salt, and leave it in the fridge for an hour. Fry the chicken over medium heat until it’s nearly done. Work the lemongrass and coconut flakes in a food processor, adding a bit of water now and then, until it makes a paste.

Raw Organic Coconut Flakes in a Bowl
In a pan, heat the oil and add the onion, shallots, garlic, curry powder, sambal, and coriander until fragrant. Stir in the chicken to combine. Add spoonfuls of water at a time until a sauce forms and the chicken is done. Mix in the coconut paste and the lime juice, and simmer for up to 10 minutes, until the sauce dries out. Salt and serve over rice.