Ayam Amazing: Malay Red Chicken

11 months ago

Malay Red Chicken



A typical curry dish in Malaysia, Malay Red Chicken is commonly called Malay Ayam Masak Merah to those familiar to it. The dish is literally called “red-chicken” because of the tomato sauce and red chilies used to color the stew. The beauty of this dish though is numerous aromatics and herbs used to build up the flavors of this wonderfully rich curry.



(Malay Ayam Masak Merah)

Makes 4-6 servings


1 Whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
1 tsp Ground turmeric
½ tsp Salt
1 sprig Coriander
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2-4 Bird’s eye chilies, sliced
4 pcs Walnuts, crushed
2 stalks Lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
1-inch Ginger, peeled
½ White onion, finely minced
2 Tbsps Water
12 Pandan leaves
¼ cup Vegetable oil
½ cup Tomato paste
1 ½ Tbsps Honey
½ Tbsp Ground cinnamon
1 cup Water

1. Toss chicken pieces with lime juice, ground turmeric, and salt in a bowl. Marinate for at least an hour.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush coriander, garlic, chilies, walnuts, lemongrass, ginger, onion, and two tablespoons water to make a paste. Alternatively, you may also use a food processor or blender to hasten the process. Transfer paste to a bowl and set aside.
3. Gently crush pandan leaves. Divide into two bunches and knot each bunch.
4. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry reserved paste until slightly caramelized for about 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute.
5. Add chicken and stir to coat. Stir in pandan leaves, honey, ground cinnamon, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook partially covered until chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the sauce is thickened for about 6-8 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot with white rice.

Recipe by Chef Trisha Ocampo

Here are other curry dishes we know you’ll enjoy:

Fish Curry

Witches’ Brew Curry

Curried Chicken Spread

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