Ayam Masak Lemak

Chicken with Turmeric Coconut Curry

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This popular Malaysian dish translates to ‘chicken in turmeric coconut curry’ and is thought to have originated from Sri Lanka.

Let's start cooking!

Hand squeezed coconut milk over a net into a bowl

Step 1 - Make the coconut milk

  • In a large bowl, add coconut flesh with 2 cup warm water and mix well using your hands.
  • Squeeze the coconut milk using a strainer until you get approximately 2 -3 cups of coconut milk.
  • Skip this step if you’re using store-bought coconut milk. Set aside.
Spice paste in a pan

Step 2 - Blend and fry spice paste

  • In a blender, blend 6 chili padi, 1 large red chili, ginger, ½ tsp turmeric powder, shallots and garlic until smooth.
  • If mixture is too dry, you can use water to help you achieve a smooth consistency.
  • In a pan on medium-high heat, fry spice paste for 5 minutes.
Chicken and lemongrass with spice paste in a pan

Step 3 - Mix chicken in spice paste

  • Add bruised lemongrass and chicken into the pan and mix well.
Coconut milk in a pot

Step 4 - Add coconut milk in chili paste

  • In a pot on medium heat, heat coconut milk and 3 Tbsp coconut oil until fragrant but not boiling.

  • When slightly fragrant, pour into chili paste.

    Coconut oil gives a pleasant aroma and taste.
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

Tumeric leaves, brown sugar and salt added to a pan

Step 5 - Season the curry and add turmeric leaves

  • Season to taste with salt and brown sugar if needed, then add turmeric leaves.
  • Turn off heat and keep covered for another 5 minutes.
    Best eaten with steamed white rice.

Plate and Serve!

Chicken in tumeric curry in a claypot

Transfer dish into serving bowl and garnish with large red chili slices. Serve hot.

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