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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

I have wanted to cook this Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken In Spicy Tomato Sauce) for so long but only waited till now.  

You see, my house only have 2 sometimes 3 persons, so cooking for a small portion to me is quite difficult.  And when I wanted to cook it, either I am not well (bad cough) or the other family member is on Chinese medicine for a month and so have to wait, and then another had sore throat, blah , blah, blah, and wait till the timing is right for me to cook this.

I am not good in cooking spicy dishes,  and when I prepare the ingredients, blend to paste, fry, saute, add this, add that, and wondering in the end am I doing it right procedure.  But of course, no worries, in the end, the taste do seem real good and delicious!  How I wish the expertise to help to taste and comment for me...

Lisa. , actually I wanted to use fresh milk in this but do not know whether it feels right or not and in the end I still go ahead with the coconut milk ~ hee...hee....just trying to cut down my cholesterol level since doctor said it is high after my last check up.

So, herewith my post today is Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken In Spicy Tomato Sauce)


Ayam Masak Merah Recipe 
Recipe from Lisa of From My Lemony Kitchen
Serve 8-10
(I cooked half portion of this recipe)
2 x 0.9-1kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces/chicken
20 dried chillies, soaked
2 red onion
5 cloves of garlic
40g ginger
25g galangal (lengkuas)
5 lemongrass
2-3 star anise
4 cloves
3 inch of cinnamon
3 cardamom
1 can of tomato soup
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for deep frying plus ¼ cup extra
1 cup of peas, optional

Preparing Chicken
Rub chicken with turmeric and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. Heat up the oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken pieces until golden in colour. Set aside.
Roughly chopped red onion, ginger, galangal and lemongrass, then transfer to a blender or food processors. Add in chillies and garlic. Process into a paste.

Heat up the wok with ½ cup of oil. Sauté the spices : Cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant. Then add in the blended paste. Bring the heat up until the paste bubble then lower the heat. Simmer till the paste is thoroughly cooked, fragrant and the oil separates from the paste (pecah minyak). 

Add in canned tomato soup, coconut milk and chicken pieces. Bring up the heat for a quick boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickened. Add peas and season with salt to taste. 

Garnish with some spring onion before serving.

So, was it good?  You bet, two thumbs up!!  Taste much more better eating with your hands!
Aah, another dish to go with extra rice......... 


  1. Oh my... I need a tissue please... I am drooling over your Ayam...hungry
    Am happy with your 2 thumbs up :D
    Thanks for the shout out :D

    1. Thank you Lisa for this delicious Ayam Masak Merah! Two thumbs up, and another two thumbs up from my dad.... as he eat, he keeps praising delicious, delicious.......

  2. This looks really, really good, Mel. I love Malaysian dishes like this. I love the recipe, very Asian but with tomato soup. Cooked something similar last week and it was well received so I will have to make this also.

    1. Hello Adora,
      I am sure you do know how good and tasty the dish would turn out to be by just looking at the ingredients itself... with all those spices in.

  3. Hi Mel, I'm so hungry after looking at your delicious chicken dish. Look really good, need extra rice....yum yum

    I've not try using tomato soup, usually just use few spoon of tomato ketchup. Will try your version next time. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a nice week ahead.

    1. Hi Amelia
      We can always try different version to see which one taste better! Who knows this one with the tomato soup taste even better leh?

  4. Oh.....this make me mouth watering now.

  5. this is my favorite of favorites chicken dish!!! i would so love to make this.. but the deep-frying part would kill me ^^|| guess i will just have to resort to buying them from the shops ^^|| your ayam masak merah must be so AWESOME! i can tell by the color! *drool* lucky i just had dinner, otherwise i'd need a mop to dry the floor!

    1. Hello Hui
      I know, I know, too many steps to prepare a dish could be too much for you BUT you can opt out the deep frying part, you know. Once the paste fried till fragrant and oil separates, you can add in the chicken and slow simmer till the meat cooked. There......ok mah!

  6. Looks yummy and spicy... looks like one of the dishes that I will order from my favourite nasi padang stall. Izzit too spicy for kids?

    1. Hi Chef,
      If you are cooking this for your children as well, you may try to use less of the dried chilly. I add about 15 pcs dried chilli and it is okay for me eventhough I am could not take hot spicy food sometimes. Anyway prepare some cold water for your children just in case, hee..hee...

  7. Wow, Mel, my favorite lah! Now I see yours, I also want to cook Ayam Masak Merah!

  8. ayam masak merah is one of my favourite Malay dish, so long did not cook this..your version sound so sedap, best with nasi lemak..Wait until my family recover from sore throat, then i must cook this.

  9. I like this dish too and thanks for dropping by my blog. I like to substitute coconut milk with sugarless soymilk. Can't really taste the difference.

  10. 这道菜肴我很喜欢呢!

  11. How I wish I can take this chicken drumstick & have a big bite of it(nope, I want to finish all, hahaha)!

  12. i must also learn to cook this one day, i have not tasted this before from outside even tho it's such a common dish. you're making everyone hungry!!

  13. Mel,
    Your Ayam masak merah looks great. Yes, agreed with you, eating with hands are even more yummy. Can i have one of your drum stick??...hahaha

  14. I do remember Lisa's post! You made it so delicious! Unfortunately I cannot eat too spicy but my husband will love this dish and will eat everything by himself!

  15. This is indeed drooling... I'm so so so wanted to make this.