There are many types of curries in South East Asia and they are uniquely aromatic and tasty. This dish – Malaysian Dry Chicken Curry or better known as Rendang Ayam in its native language is a dish that I grew up with – easy to make, tasty and to-die-for.
By Josephine Chan
Rendang ayam (Dry chicken curry) is one of the most homely and delicious Malaysian dish I’ve ever enjoyed. Like all curries, it’s not a complex dish to make but it is crucial to get all the freshly ground spices to achieve that beautiful aroma and dry texture of the curry. Unlike it’s wet curry cousin, the sauce is the curry paste minus the watery sauce.
If you haven’t attempted curries before, don’t be discouraged to try – it’s very very easy to make and if you make a large pot, you can keep for up to 2 days in the fridge and reheat before meal. To balance the flavours and achieve the right one, keep tasting them. As the southern hemisphere gets colder and colder, it is very comforting to enjoy this great dish with lots of carbs – don’t you agree? ;-)
This recipe is adapted from Andrew Kow’s Malaysian Menu.
- 1 kg chicken drumsticks, cut into pieces if you want or leave as is
- ½ packet grated coconut, toasted
- 1 large can coconut milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 30 g coriander powder
- 7 g fennel
- 3 g cumin
- 60 g galangal
- 20 shallots
- 2 garlic
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 6 candlenut
- ½ inch turmeric
- 3 tbsp dried chilli
- 10 bird’s eye chilli, de-seed if you prefer not so spicy
- 5 pcs kaffir lime leaves
- Rinse chicken drumsticks. Mix the chicken marinade and rub onto the chicken drumsticks. Leave them to marinade for 30 mins.
- Pound the curry paste ingredients together in a mortar and pestle or blend them together in a blender. Pound or blend until you reach a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
- Heat up 1 bowl of vegetable oil in a medium high-heated wok. Stir fry the curry paste until fragrant. Mix in chicken drumsticks with coconut milk and salt into the wok. Stir and mix them around with curry paste with spatula. Ensure all drumsticks are equally covered by the paste. Once the watery paste starts to bubble, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 1 – 1.5 hours or until the curry paste has become thick and dry. Constantly stir and be sure not to burn the paste.
- Once you’ve achieved the consistency, add in toasted grated coconut and stir well. Serve with warm steamed rice.