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Malaysian Recipe : Ayam Kapitan


  • 1.4 kg chicken (divided into 8 pieces)
  • 225 g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 150 ml tamarind juice from pulp
  • 1 cm square belacan
  • 2-4 fresh chilies
  • 2 macadamia nuts or almonds
  • 2 lemon grass stems
  • 1" piece ginger
  • 2 garlic flakes
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp coconut or cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • A piece of cinnamon
  • 6 green or white cardamom pods
  • 2 large onions finely sliced


  1. Clean chicken and set aside. Extract coconut milk. Roast the belachan. Keep aside. Grind chopped chilies, nuts, lemon grass, ginger and garlic into a paste. If dried chilies are used, this should be added to the paste. Now stir in turmeric with the paste. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil and fry spice paste for a few minutes without making it brown in color.
  3. Stir in the chicken pieces until they are all coated with spice. Add salt.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and tamarind juice.
  5. Add the cinnamon and cardamom pods. Cook without covering, over a gentle heat for 30 to 40 minutes until almost all the sauce thickens and reduces
  6. Check the chicken pieces with a skewer. When tender, serve in a hot bowl. Garnish with crisp fried onions.

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Last Modified: 11/27/11.