Asian Dishes, Poultry

Lemak Ayam Chilli Padi (Chicken in Spicy Coconut Milk)

Today we had an exorbitant lunch at Hei Sushi. Feeling rather guilty but extremely satiated ( we love Japanese food!) I decided to cook a very simple dish for dinner. It’s actually a kampong dish and there are several methods to cooking it though the ingredients are largely the same. The way I cook it (well, the way I was taught to do it) is to boil the rempah, or spice paste, together with the chicken in the pot.. But I know of many other families who would fry the rempah first. To each their own. My version is definitely more ‘kampong-y’ as there’s a lot of thin gravy and extremely spicy (since you don’t fry the rempah). I literally pour the entire bowl of gravy onto my rice – much like eating soup with rice. This is also a family favourite dish, and one I’d make at least once a month (well, at least before the baby came into the picture). 


1. 2 onions (or 1, if it’s like a freakily large one)

2. 2-3 garlic cloves

3. Fresh turmeric

4. a knob of ginger

5. belacan

6. chilli padi (about 14, or much less if you can’t take the heat :p)

7. Lemongrass

8. Kaffir Lime leaves

9. Assam gelugur (Assam fruit? Picture available for reference)

10. Coconut Milk (packet or freshly squeezed)





Blend or pound Items 1-6. I already have blended ginger paste and ground belacan which I added into the blender.


Pour blended ingredients into the pot of chicken. Add water to cover all of the chicken and let cook till the chicken pieces are half done. Oh, throw in the lemongrass.


Add in one packet of coconut cream. In the past, lots of people would use freshly squeezed coconut milk. Now, a 70 cent packet like the one above would suffice.


Once coconut is added, make sure the heat is low. Add in the kaffir lime leaves, assam piece and salt.


I added in baby tomatoes but the traditional sour ingredient is to add in belimbing - local baby starfruit.


This dish is fragrant and ignites all your senses, well, just your tastebuds then. It’s very spicy, yet the assam gelugur adds a slightly sour taste to cut the richness of the coconut milk.  And the kaffir lime leaves add a wonderful mild fresh lime fragrance to the  dish. Mmmmm…

Oh, this is what assam gelugur looks like.

I cut down my sugar/fat intake by eating this with a plate of basmati rice. Try it if you’ve never eaten this dish before. 

Lemak Ayam Chilli Padi: Only 20 minutes to cook!

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