A different kind of fried chicken. Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken is marinated in delicious spices like turmeric, coriander and garam masala then cooked twice, served with a spicy chili sauce. Results are flavorful, crispy chicken without batter and served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce. 

Pouring Spicy Chili Sauce over Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken

When Indian spices meet an Indonesian cooking method. The chicken is first cooked in the marinade, then shallow fried.

I call this dish ‘spiced’ because there are spices added, but it is not spicy. It is served with a chili dipping sauce that adds a delicious, sweet and spicy bite so you can control how much spice you want in every bite or. you can leave it out for the kids.

Freshly fried Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken on a cooling rack

Inspired by Ayem Goreng (Indonesian and Malaysian fried chicken) there  is a 2 stage cooking process involved with this turmeric spiced fried chicken. The first step is simmering the chicken in the marinade, which adds all the flavors to the chicken, then the chicken is fried to crisp the skin.

Where it may seem like a lot of work cooking the chicken twice, it does actually serve 2 purposes. The first cooking, seals the flavors into the chicken and cooks the sauce. The frying, crisps up the chicken and seals in the flavors.

Fried chicken without breading or batter.

There is no heavy breading or batter on this fried chicken which makes it low carb, keto friendly, gluten-free and lower in calories (if you’re counting, it’s approximately 472 calories for 2 pieces of chicken).

Turmeric is a very  vibrantly colored spice. Anything it touches, it stains, including skin, white counter tops and clothing so please be mindful when making the sauce.

Drumsticks and thighs of Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken garnished with cilantro

If you were to take the chicken right from the marinade to the frying, the oil bubble and splashes up (which is dangerous) because of the moisture in the paste. 

A bowl of Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken pieces with a bowl of Spicy Chili Sauce
Can turmeric spiced fried chicken be made in the air fryer?

Yes. Cook the chicken up to  step 4 of the recipe (cooking in the marinade), then transfer to air fryer (instead of frying in oil) in a single layer without overlapping. Cooking time will depend on your air fryer (set to 390°F/200°C for about 15-20 minutes) so use a meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reads 165°F/75°C).

Side Dish Ideas:

If you’ve made this Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken with Spicy Chili Sauce or any other recipe, leave a comment below.

Yield: 4

Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken with Spicy Chili Sauce

Turmeric Spiced Fried Chicken with Spicy Chili Sauce in a paper lined bowl

Marinated in spices, cooked in the marinade then fried without breading.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • For the sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons garlic chili sauce (sambal olek)
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • For the chicken:
  • ¾ cups (65 grams) shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2-inch (6 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 pieces of chicken (drumsticks or thighs)
  • Canola or vegetable oil


  1. For the sauce:
    Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved and bring to a simmer until thickened. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. For the chicken:
  3. Add the shallot, garlic, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, brown sugar and salt to a blender. Add 4 tablespoons water and blend until you get a chunky paste. Add the paste to the chicken and coat well. Marinate for 2 hours, or overnight, refrigerated.
    Add oil to a Dutch oven or high-sided heavy pan. Fill no more than 1/3 full and heat to 350°F/175°C.
  4. Add the chicken to a high sided pan along with the marinade and toss to coat well. Bring to a simmer and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes per side until the water has evaporated and there is just paste left. Turn off heat and leave in the pan.
    When the oil is ready, add the chicken in small batches (2 or 3 at a time), to avoiding crowding the pan. Fry for 10 minutes until golden brown, turning halfway through. The internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer should be no lower than 165°F/75°C. Remove and drain on a rack or paper towel. Serve warm with the sauce.


Spicy chili garlic sauce makes 1 ½ cups (354 m)

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 472Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 160mgSodium 1386mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 1gSugar 7gProtein 43g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.