Gulai Ikan Aceh (Acehnese Fish Stew)

This dish originated from the Indonesian province of Aceh. I ate it at my Acehnese friend’s place and fell in love with it. My husband too! Definitely worth a try!


  • 5 fresh red chillies
  • 3 garlic
  • ginger- cut 1 inch, and peel skin (or 1 tsp ginger paste)
  • Seedles tamarind paste- cut 1 inch x 1 inch, and microwave 30 seconds in 1/4 cup water. 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp black seed
  • 2/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 5 red shallots (or 1 med. onion substitute), cut into little pieces
  • 4-5 fish fillet (any fish-tilapia, salmon, catfish, etc.)- cut into 1.5inch x 1.5 inch cubes
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor or blender, blend the first 4 ingredients and a little salt.
  2. Marinate fish with the processed ingredients for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a pot, cook oil with the red shallots/onion until yellow and soft. Mix in the previously processed ingredients and also the rest of the ingredients. Add around 1-2 cups of water, and boil for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Put in the marinated fish and cook for another 15 minutes or until fish is fully cooked..
  5. Serve with hot rice.

*Instead of fish, you may also use chicken or beef cubes in this stew.


4 thoughts on “Gulai Ikan Aceh (Acehnese Fish Stew)

  1. Thanks for the recipe and a lovely story. We’ll definately try it and let you know how it went.

    Thanks again and I will try to send you a recipe as well for exchange.


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