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Ayam Pedas Recipe


1500-1800 grams chicken drumsticks with bone
a generous slosh kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soya sauce – don’t use any other kind!)
8 lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 3 and bashed to release flavour
juice of 2 limes
soya oil to fry
vetsin (monosodium glutamate powder – optional)

Spice mixture:
10 red chillies, sliced (or more, if you like)
10 rawit, sliced (bird’s eye chillies)
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 thin slice belacan/terasi (shrimp paste from Malaysia and Indonesia), cut up small
6 cm. piece kunyit (fresh turmeric root), peeled and chopped
1 soft chicken stock cube, cut up small


Put all the ingredients for the spice mixture in a food processor with a little water and blend until smooth. Heat a little oil (not too much) until VERY hot in a wok. Fry the spice mixture at high heat together with the lime leaves and lemon grass, until fragrant (3-5 minutes), stirring all the time. Reduce the heat, add kecap manis, vetsin if wished, a little water and the chicken pieces (the chicken should be just covered).

Transfer to a pan with a heavy bottom, cover with a lid and allow to cook on a very low heat (just simmering) for about 60 – 90 minutes or until tender.

When done, add the lime juice and stir in well. Serve with pandan rice and your favourite stir-fried vegetables.

No extra salt is required due to the high salt content in the belcan/terasi.

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