Monday, August 13, 2012

Ayam Buah Keras/Candle Nut Chicken

Wendy from Table for 2…or more organized an event called Malaysian Food Fest . It is an online event to introduce the specialty food from each state in Malaysia. For each state, the event will run for a month and the whole event will conclude by the end of August 2013. Bloggers or non bloggers, Malaysians or non Malaysians are encouraged to take part in this event; all you have to do is cook and submit your entry/ entries to the respective hosts for the month. This is such a great event especially for us living oversea as we can refer to all the recipes features when we are missing food from our home country. I will be hosting the State of Kelantan in the month of April 2013 and I need all your support. To kick off event the very first state feature will be Malacca, hosted by Cindy from Yummylittlecooks . You can find out more details of the event and the schedule ahead here .

Of all the states I think I’ve visited Malacca the most as it is one of the nearest state to Kuala Lumpur. I am able to make a day trip there mostly for shopping and their food especially for their cendol , chicken rice balls and also the Nyonya Food. Since Wendy of Table for 2 told me about Event I’ve been cracking my head on what to cook for Malacca/Melaka. I don’t want to cook the usual Chicken Rice Balls, Ayam Pogteh , Sambal Petai or Kapitan Chicken as I already feature them in my blog previously. So I consult my good friend Shereen who is a pure Nyonya from Melaka about the dishes that her mom’s used to cook for her. She told me many of her mom’s favorite dishes, but I don’t think I am able to cook most of it because of the lack of ingredients that I can get here in the US. So we settle for some of the easiest ones. So thank you Shereen for sharing your mom precious recipes with us here. Do stay tune for other authentic Nyonya dishes coming up soon.

For this dish it is good that you prepare a big batch of the paste and freeze them up as you can use them to prepare this dish anytime you like. Like all Nyonya recipes, there is no hard and fast rules as what or how much of the ingredients you put in a dish and everything is just 'agak-agak' ( eye-balling ) and yet, the dish will always come out right. So, with this dish, the same rule applies. If you prefer more gravy to go with your rice, just use a little bit more paste and less if you rather have the chicken as the star. Same goes with the consistency of the gravy, more water if you prefer it thinner and less water if you prefer it thicker.


1 Chicken, cleaned and cut into small pieces
400 gram Candle nut paste (refer to the ingredients below)
1 Lemongrass, lightly smashed
2 pcs Kaffir lime leaves
1/2 - 1 cup water
Salt to taste

1. Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil (you need quite a bit of oil to fry the paste properly) and put in the paste and fry until fragrant and the paste turns a deep yellow / orange color. Use low to medium heat and be careful not to burn the paste.
2. Add in the chicken pieces, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Coat the chicken with the paste and keep stirring until the chicken turns opaque. Add in salt and some water and stir every now and then.
3. Cook until the chicken is done and gravy thickens slightly. If the chicken is not cooked but the gravy is starting to dry up, you can add more water.
4. Dish up and serve.

Ingredients for the paste:

200 Gram Fresh chilies
10 Candle nut/buah keras
250 gm Shallots
8 gm Fresh turmeric/Kunyit hidup
12 gm Shrimp paste/belacan

1. Deseed the fresh chilies if you do not like the paste to be too spicy. Cut the chilies, shallots and turmeric into small pieces for easy blending.
2. Put all the ingredients into a blender and add a little bit of oil and water. Blend into a fine paste and set it aside.
3. Used the amount you like and freeze the rest.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Malacca Month ) hosted by Cindy of yummylittlecooks.

I am also submitting this dish to to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday roundup, created and hosted by Sharon of Test with a Skewer and Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies.


Shereen said...

Darn!!!Your dish looks much better than mine... sudah lawan towkey ni.. Lol!Do you like this dish?Of all the Nyonya dishes, this would be my number 1 favorite.

Yoong said...

Gert, this is one very appetising dish - 2 plates of rice with this :) Yummm!

Anonymous said...

looks so appetising la!!! salivary glands really worked up the moment I saw the first photo!

Beachlover's Kitchen said...

this dish look delicious!! yummy!! also my 1st time I heard of this name ..Didn't know buah keras can used as the main ingredients..

oh!! my!! i really hate the word verification!!

PH said...

Looks so delicious! Don't worry, for Kelantan month I will come out full force to support you :)

Elin said...

Gertrude...this definitely will give me back my appetite :) Well done, since this is your first time cooking this dish...real nyonya dish leh :)

ann low said...

This looks very delicious and appetizing. Can eat more rice with it!

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

This looks wonderful.

Being a big fan of malaysian dishes I'll be joining in the event for sure, thanks for the info.

Off to check it out now.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

Bakericious said...

I love chicken, making me drooling now.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

This Nyonya dish sound so yummy !

ICook4Fun said...

Shereen, No lah mana as nice as yours. I love this dish. Makan with nasi memang lah sedap!! Going to make this again soon as I still have some leftover paste.

Yoong, yes the gravy is great with rice.

Alan, thank you.

Lesley, I hate the complicated word verification too. I took it out for half a day and I received over 50 spams. No choice have to put it back on. Sorry about that. I hope you try this dish out. The buah keras gives a great flavor to the dish. No coconut milk requires.

Phong Hong, thank you, thank you for your support. Hope to see your
submission when the time comes :)

ICook4Fun said...

Elin, yes this is such an appetizing dish. Thanks to my friend Shereen for sharing her family recipe.

Ann, welcome back!!! Miss your posting.

Debs, Hope you will join the event. I will definitely try to yours too.

Jess, since you like chicken, hope you try out this dish one day :)

Sonia, thanks.

yummylittlecooks said...

Hi, wow, so sedap!!!!

Thank you for joining MFF Melaka Month :)