Malaysian Chilli Tomato Chicken

Malaysian Chilli Tomato Chicken


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This is known as Ayam Masak Merah in Malaysia and Indonesia. It is spicy and sweet at the same time using a wide range of fresh herbs and spices.


Serves: 4 

  • 1 (1 1/2 kg) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried red chillies
  • 3 fresh red chilli, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 (3cm thick) slice fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water

Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. Rub the chicken with turmeric powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Soak the dried red chilli in hot water until softened. Blend the softened dried chilli, fresh red chilli, garlic, onion and ginger in a blender to a paste.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove the chicken from the frypan and set aside.
  4. Remove excess oil from the frypan leaving about 1 tablespoon. Cook and stir the chilli paste with the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom seeds until fragrant. Return the chicken to the frypan.
  5. Stir in the water adding more if needed. Toss in the tomatoes and stir in the tomato sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear; about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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