Ayam Lemak is a delicious dish of Malay origin, featuring chicken in a coconut curry. This recipe, shared by Natalie Trog, has been handed down the generations in the Singaporean’s family. “It’s a lovely dish served with steamed rice,” she says.
Makes four servings
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 4 pieces chicken (thighs and drumsticks preferred)
• 800ml water
• 200ml coconut cream
• 1 cube chicken stock
• 5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
• 1 medium-sized turmeric leaf, torn or shredded
Spices to be blended together:
• 10 shallots or 1 large red onion
• 6 garlic cloves
• 1 piece ginger (“thumb sized”)
• 1 piece turmeric (“pinkie sized!”)
• 1 stalk lemongrass
• 3 red chillies (for extra spice, substitute with 5 bird’s-eye chillies)
1. Mix spices in a blender with a little water until smooth.
2. In a pot, heat up the oil and fry the blended spices until fragrant (and until all the oil surfaces to the top); this usually takes about 10 minutes.
3. Add in chicken pieces and coat them evenly with spices.
4. Add water, chicken stock cube, kaffir lime and turmeric. Add salt to taste if necessary. Cover the pot and let simmer.
5. After 20 minutes, when chicken is cooked, add coconut cream and give a quick stir. Once gravy is thick and boiling, turn off the flame to prevent coconut cream from curdling.
6. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
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This article first appeared in the January 2018 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!