Malay Spicy Ayam Masak Merah

Ayam Masak Merah 2

Ayam Masak Merah

Ayam masak merah, meaning ‘chicken in red spicy tomato sauce’, is a continuation of my specially dedicated effort to cook Malay food to celebrate the upcoming Hari Raya Puasa. It’s a good way to compliment my previous recipe of Nasi Kunyit too!



  • Shallot: 20
  • Dried chilli: 20, soaked in hot water for 1 hr, drained
  • Chilli padi: 20
  • Lemongrass: 2 1/2
  • Galangal: 1 thumb length piece
  • Candlenut: 13
  • Water: 1.5 cup + 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil: enough for deep-frying
  • Chicken drumlet: 1 kg, rubbed with salt for 1/2 hr
  • Chicken stock cube: 1
  • Tomato puree: 300g
  • Kecap manis: 1/2 cup
  • Liquid gula melaka: 3/4 cup
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Coriander: 1 stalk, chopped finely


  1. Blend shallots, chillies, lemongrass, galangal and candlenut with 1.5 cup water to form a rempah (or seasoning paste).
  2. Heat oil in wok. Deep-fry drumlets. Remove once they start to turn golden brown and set aside on kitchen towel.
  3. Pour out the oil, leaving about 1/4 cup in wok. Add rempah and fry till fragrant.
  4. Add 3/4 cup water, chicken stock cube, tomato puree and kecap manis. Stir well to mix.
  5. Add gula melaka, salt and lastly the drumlets. Leave to cook for another 1 min.
  6. Garnish with coriander. Serve warm with nasi kunyit or plain white rice.

Ayam Masak Merah 3


  • Supposedly, deep-frying the drumlets before frying them with the rempah adds to the fragrance and bite of the meat itself. Grilling or roasting them are good alternatives to deep-frying too.

4 persons as side dish

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