Aromatic Green Chili Chicken in Six Easy Steps, with a Side of Sweet Coconut Rice

Every year, the Asylum Seeker Resource Center (ASRC) asks the nation to throw a party for their friends and throw a party for freedom in their home or workplace. This is a fundraiser for the various programs of the nonprofit organization, while appreciating the cultures and cuisines of the people they serve.

Getting involved is easy: once you sign up, CURC sends you a link to a fundraising page where you can invite guests to RSVP to your party. You will also receive a host kit in the mail containing a magnetic shopping list to prepare your meal, a silicone planter, Madame Flavor teas, a centerpiece, conversation cards to chat around the seekers asylum and a recipe booklet with dishes from this year’s star chefs and past feasts.

Half of this year’s new recipes come from Manel, a full-time chef with a social enterprise ASRC Restoration and who was previously supported by the organization when she arrived to seek asylum in Australia. The dishes she chose to share are inspired by her Malaysian-Indian heritage, a result of migration from southern India to Southeast Asia.

The mini cookbook includes recipes for lemon tea with chilli pineapple, pakoda with sweet chilli sauce, black pepper okra, atjard (a refreshing cucumber salad) and sago pudding for dessert. But the star is undoubtedly its green chili chicken with coconut rice.

“This is one of those dishes that you will want more and more of. Whether it’s chicken or tofu, this dish is packed with depth and flavor, while remaining balanced, especially when eaten with sweet and indulgent coconut rice,” the booklet describes.

The chicken is ready in just six short steps, while the coconut rice can be prepared entirely in a rice cooker (or there are easy instructions for making it without).

You can cook whatever you want for your dinner – mix and match the recipes in the booklet, design your own menu or have your guests bring dishes for a fun meal. But whether you’re doing it for Feast for Freedom or just as a simple dinner at home, this one is a winner.

Chilli Chicken and Coconut Rice

For 4 people

Total duration: 1 hour


For the coconut rice:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 cm peeled fresh ginger

2 cups uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained

400ml coconut milk

½ tbsp salt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the green chili chicken:

8 long green chillies, coarsely chopped

1 brown onion, coarsely chopped

5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

5 cm peeled and thinly sliced ​​fresh ginger

2 stalks lemongrass (white part only), thinly sliced

1 kg chicken breast (or tofu), cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

20 fresh curry leaves

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1½ tsp salt

2 teaspoons of white sugar

For garnish :

2 green chillies, thinly sliced

4 makrut lime leaves, finely grated


For the coconut rice:

Add all the ingredients to a rice cooker with 800ml of water. Cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Remember to remove the ginger nut before serving.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, follow these steps:

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

On the stovetop, pour the oil into a large ovenproof saucepan with a lid and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir gently for 1 minute. Add 800 ml of water with the coconut milk, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil.

Cover the pan with foil, crimping the edges, then with the lid. (If you don’t have an ovenproof casserole, transfer the ingredients to an ovenproof container and cover with foil and a lid.) Bake for 30 minutes. Remember to remove the ginger nut before serving.

For the green chili chicken:

While the rice is cooking, prepare the green chili chicken. Place the chilli, onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass in a blender and grind to a paste. (Manel’s tip: Use a pestle and mortar if you don’t have a blender.)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sear chicken in batches until sealed on all sides. (If using tofu, heat a large frying pan and seal the tofu in batches. You don’t need oil for this step.) Remove and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the batter you prepared earlier. Stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add curry leaves, turmeric, salt, sugar and stir to combine.

Return the chicken/tofu to the pan and add a little water to form a sauce. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Unmold into a serving bowl and garnish with chilli and lime leaves.

Sign up to host a party for freedom here.

Looking for more recipe ideas? To visit The Broadsheet* Recipe Center.