A very popular chicken curry or 'gulai ayam' in Malay. Much like the curry chicken dish of from Indonesia and Malaysia, this dish illustrates the fastidious elaboration of spices employed in Nyonya cooking. However, the difference in this Nyonya-stlye curry chicken is that it is prepared a few hours ahead and left to mature. Herein lies the secret! 

Ingredients :
  • 1kgChicken pieces
  • 500ml, Thin coconut milk
  • 250ml, Thick coconut milk
  • 5 tbsp, Cooking oil
  • Salt and sugar to taste
Spice Paste
  • 1 piece 2.5 cm ( 1 in) cinnamon stick bark
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder or 2.5 cm (1 in) Fresh turmeric
  • 1 piece Shrimp paste - approx. 1.5cm square. (~½ in square)
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 2 slices Galangal, chopped
  • 10 pieces Dried chilies, seeded & soak in warm water till soft then squeezed dry
  • 2 pieces Cloves
  • 4 pieces Candlenuts, smashed
  • 3 pieces Garlic, sliced
  • 10 stalks Shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seed
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
Method :

  1. Prepare the spice paste by homogenising the ingredients in a food processor. beginning with dry ingredients on high speed. Remove the paste and pound it briefly in a moratr and pestle to bring out the best of the flavours.
  2. Pre-heat a traditional clay pot or any earthenware pot with a little oil and stir fry the paste to roast the spices just until the fragrances emerge.
  3. Add the meat and stir to coat with the spice mix.
  4. Add in the thin coconut milk, salt and sugar, then stir to mix well and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Stir in the thick coconut milk, bring it up to temperature then remove the pot from the heat and allow to stand for a while before serving.