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Fried Tumeric Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce

It is so difficult to find Singapore Malay cuisine in Boston and Cambridge! I have not chanced upon one yet. There are some restaurants in Chinatown which claimed to sell Malaysian food.

Singapore Malayan food is like an old friend. You don't want to see her everyday, say 'hi' to her once in a while and sometimes pop over for meet-up for special occasions. And when you meet up with her, she never fails to amaze you on how much she understands you. Okay, in food terms, it is called COMFORT food. However it is not comfort food for all. Because the spiciness can drive the unadventurous crazy!

This dish is takes quite an effort to make but it is all worth it! The tender chicken pieces and the spicy tomato sauce goes very well with steamed rice. I have two servings of rice to go with it last night! My hubby had more!

Recipe (Serves 4)


A) Chili paste (can be prepared ahead and refrigerate for 1 month):

  • 1 cup Dried chilies, soak in hot water for 20 minutes

  • 5 Fresh red chilies, cut into thumbsize

  • 6 cloves of Garlic

  • 5 Shallots

  • 5 Candlenuts

  • 3 Lemongrass, use the 2"-3" of lower stem only

  • 1 tbsp Shrimp paste

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1 tbsp Sugar

  • 3 tbsp Cooking oil


  1. Blend all the ingredients (except shrimp paste, salt, sugar and oil) in a blender into a paste.

  2. In a heated wok, add oil and blended paste.

  3. Add in shrimp paste.

  4. Fry till fragrant and oil separates from the paste.

  5. Add in salt and sugar.

  6. Remove.

B) Dish


  • Half a chicken, cut into pieces

  • 1/2 cup of Frozen green peas, thaw

  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 2 Cardamon pods

  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick

  • 1/2 Star anise

  • 3 cloves

  • 1/2 can of Condensed Tomato Soup

  • 200ml Coconut milk

  • Salt

  • Cooking oil for frying


  • Marinade the chicken pieces with turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt for at least 30 minutes

  • In a wok, add in oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

  • In a clean wok, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil.

  • Add cardamon pods, cinnamon, star anise and clove. Fry till fragrant.

  • Add in chili paste.

  • Add in tomato soup and coconut milk. Stir well.

  • Add in fried chicken pieces.

  • Simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken.

  • Add in green peas and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt.

  • Remove and serve.

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