Ayam Percik (Malaysian Barbecued Chicken)

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My grandmother used to make a legendary version of this. Gorgeus chicken, barbecued over a charcoal fire - very popular and sold at roadside food stalls all over the Northeastern state of Kelantan (Peninsular Malaysia)

Serves: 4 - 5

Preparation time:
Cooking time:


5 Whole Chicken Legs
4 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
2 Teaspoons Tamarind Pulp
4 Lemon Grass (bruised)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Thick Coconut Milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
Salt to Taste

1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

Spice Paste:
4 Candlenuts (Buah Keras) … substitute with Almonds, Cashews, Brazil or Macadamia nuts if you can’t find this
6 Cloves Garlic
9 Dried Chillies, soaked in Hot Water
3 Red Chillies
2 cm (3/4 inch) Ginger
5 Shallots


1) Mix the marinade, combine with the chicken and set aside for at least 1 hour.
2) Chop the spice paste ingredients and pound in a pestle and mortar or food processor.
3) Heat Oil in a frying-pan and fry the spice paste, tamarind and lemon grass for 5 minutes.
4) Add water and cook for another 3 minutes.
5) Put in Coconut Milk, sugar and salt and simmer over a medium fire for 5 minutes.
6) Barbecue the chicken over a low charcoal fire or under a grill, basting frequently with the gravy, until the chicken is cooked … best if skin gets caramelized or a little charred.


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