My Ayam Masak Lemak actually has no cili api (bird's eye chili) because firstly, I am not good with spicy foods, secondly hubby has just recovered from a bout of diarrhea and fever so nothing too stomach-churning for him; and thirdly I wanted my son to have a try.
So glad I omitted the fiery ingredient, because my son LOVED it! I was quite surprised but then again, kids - they surprise you now and then. My little guy walloped a big bowl of rice with two chicken drumsticks, loads of potatoes and a good serving of the rich yellow gravy.
"Mum, this ayam masak lemak is my favourite food!"
That's the kind of remarks every mum loves to hear :)
Anyhow, thanks to our blogger sifu Wendyinkk whose recipe I adulterated for this. Finally, I get to make one of my favourite Malay dish. Had no idea that it is actually so easy to make.
And to think that I used to go all over town hunting for a good place that serves this. The best I've had is actually from a hospital canteen at SDMC (Sime Darby Medical Centre). Think I'll drop by there next month, with an empty food container :P. Chawan's version is pretty good too, but spicy and pricey. Make it at home and it costs a fraction of the price, in just about the time it takes you to order and have it served.
Ayam Masak Lemak sans cili api
Source: Table for 2..or more, with minor changes
- 5 chicken drumsticks, skin on, rinsed and pat dry with kitchen paper
- 20g turmeric root, peeled, smashed
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, white and light green parts only, lightly smashed
- 2 small red onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium size potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cubed
- 5 ladyfingers, rinsed and sliced in thick diagonals
- 1/2 brinjal, cubed
- 150ml coconut milk
- 200ml water
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
- Salt to taste
1. Wear a pair of disposable gloves before peeling the turmeric root, else it will stain your fingers, stain your knife and chopping board (and just about stain everything else!)
2. Blend the turmeric root and the onions into a paste. Quickly scoop into a glass or ceramic bowl and wash your blender, else the stain will eat in.
3. Add the water, paste and lemon grass into a non stick pan and bring to a gentle boil. Add in the chicken drumsticks and potatoes and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked and potatoes have softened.
4. Add the brinjals and ladyfingers and continue to simmer until vegetables are just cooked. Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
5. Add the sugar and stock powder. Adjust the taste with salt. Cover and let it rest for about 10min before serving.