Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi

I haven’t cooked much since Hari Raya because we had so much food left over from our open house. It was a small affair but thank you to our guests who made our Hari Raya memorable. As much as I love eating Hari Raya food, I think everyone has  their Rendang and Kuah Lodeh threshold and I hit mine yesterday. I didn’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen since it was a Bank Holiday and the hubby was at home, but I also didn’t want to order take out (we recently discovered hungryhouse.com which has completely revolutionised the way we eat on the days I can’t be bothered to cook! good food delivered in 40-60 minutes, ouh yes please!!). So I thought of my mother’s Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Api which was perfect because the recipe calls for only 4-5 ingredients and requires almost no effort! and with the way I make it, the dish is deliciously guilt free *sluurrrp* 😀


3-4             shallots (bawang merah)

3-4             garlic cloves (bawang putih)

10-15         bird’s eye chillies (cili padi)

3/4 inch   turmeric (kunyit hidup)

3-4              kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut) – Optional

Almond milk (or coconut milk) (santan)

Salt to taste


1. Blend shallots, garlic and chillies in the blender with a little bit of water until becomes a smooth paste. Pound the turmeric separately. I tend to not blend turmeric in the blender as they tend to leave stubborn yellow stain on plactic surface and I do not want to turn my blender yellow.

2. Pour the blended ingredients into a pan and let sit to simmer with the lid of the pan closed for 5-10 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Put the chicken pieces into the pot and coat each pieces with the blended ingredients. Let the chicken sit to simmer for 5 minutes with the lid covered.

4. Carefully turn the chicken pieces to evenly and pour in the almond milk (or coconut milk) until the milk covers the chicken. Let the chicken simmer on low fire with the lid of the pan covered for 15 minutes.

5. To prevent the chicken from getting overcooked, remove the chicken and turn up the fire to reduce the liquid and return the chicken to the pan once the liquid has reduced and thickened. I use baby chicken and they tend to cook quickly, but if you’re using roaster chicken or ayam kampung, you can leave the chicken in the pan and let it continue to simmer with the lid of the pan removed. Throw in the kaffir lime leaves about 5 minutes before the dish is ready and season to taste.

The Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi is now ready! Do be careful as the dish can be quite spicy and I would suggest you have a glass of water nearby (along with a box of tissue if you really cannot tahan pedas!).

This Masak Lemak really hit the spot and if you want to make it even more guilt-free, serve it with warm fluffy brown rice.

Enjoy your guilt-free indulgent,

Mariam S


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