Friday, May 22, 2009

Ayam Masak Minangkabau

Ayam Masak Minangkabau, ready , to be served hot with hot white rice..

The name , masak minangkabau sounded so grand to a mere mortal who didn't know how to cook, like me, with all the cumin, fennel seeds, coriander, galangal, turmeric. Noticed the past tenses used in this sentence because it is to describe a thing of the past. However, it doesn't sound grand or alien to me anymore cos I think I have mastered the making of this wonderfully spicy cuminy coriandery ( are there such word?....whatever....)dishy..

this is the part when you put in the chicken after all the ingredients are all cooked and smell so fragrantly with the combination of the following:

shallot and garlic
lengkuas and kunyit
jintan manis, jintan putih, ketumbar
cili kering, belacan.
blend everything and tumis with cooking oil until fragrant.

People say or rather I said because that was what I thought at that time( back in the student days), that making chicken curry was the easiest of all the dishes for curry, but not to moi. I could make dishes much more complicated than chicken curry, like this ayam masak minangkabau, masak lemak cili api, ayam masak portugis but I didn't know how to make that simple curry! ( with its readymade curry powder, Ad*b*, b*b*s,Al*g*p*a, etc, etc, )

After the chicken is almost cooked, add some water, just about covering the chicken, cover the pot, simmer it and leave it to become tender.

After a while, add a few blobs of tomato sauce and a couple of tablespoons of fresh milk, salt and sugar to taste.

When it boils, add some coconut milk and stir occasionally , cook on slow fire until the gravy becomes thick.


" zue guna rempah apa ni? , abah asked me in our house in Kedai Batu 8 ( meaning which brand did I use to make this dish?

"Zue tumbuk sendiri", I answered proudly, though wasn't so sure what the comment was gonna be.
"Sedap...macam yang dijual di kedai2".

That was one of the proudest moments in my life.( for someone who didn't really know how to cook, that was quite an achievement! )

I was on holiday during the Summer break and decided to cook for my family, which was a rare moment because normally My Umi or my sister would do all the cooking because this girl ( girl lagi ke, dah mak budak...masa tu girl lah....)wasn't much of a cook. I was away from home most of the time, if at the boarding school, food was served on the table, nasi kawah and the lauk2 all done and prepared by the Makcik2 ( Bless all of them for preparing such wonderful lauk2, though ada jugak masa2 yang I don't like, me being a picky eater, but most of the time, simply delicious ), and thereafter, nasi bungkus or nasi mangkuk tingkat or nasi polysterine ( this was when I was doing my A Level in Kelana Jaya in the 80s )

The highlight of the cooking era was during my student days where I was staying thousands of miles away from my home-cooked meal by my Umi and stayed in a 3 bedroom rented house somewhere in Ilford with three other Malaysian ladies. We have to eat and so we have to cook ourselves because mummy is not here to cook for us, eating out is a bit expensive for students like us and we are also not 100% sure of the halal status, furthermore, it's not easy to get Malaysian dish from where we are staying, halal chicken is readily available but the dish itself, we have to cook them ourselves. Thankfully, we have a few good cooks in the house and it is from them and also from the recipe books that I learn how to cook some of the dishes.

But this particular ayam masak minangkabau, I learned when I was in my secondary school. Let's not dwell into that era, it will require more space in this entry if I were to talk about my school days. maybe, in the next entries


  1. Zue, ingat lagi tak kes ada one day tu, dining hall kita masak kari ayam ssseeeddddaaappp ssanggaattt.. yumm.. yumm.. rupa-rupanya, at the bottom of the kawah ada katak mati 2 ekor!! Ahahahahah!!!

  2. Hai Charmey
    Really? I didn't know this...OMG! No wonder Stevie Wonder!Nak buek camana, dah masuk dlm perut, kita pun dah baca BISMILLAH. tawakkal aje lah.good to hear from you Sham....

  3. High 5 Zue, I thot I was the only one yang tak pandai masak kari.... rupanya ada geng.

    Actually this is the 1st time I dengar Ayam masak minangkabau ni. & guess what, I've just finished cooking this dish 20 mins ago. Ikut resepi U ni, main agak2, & asked my eldest girl to sample it. The verdict, Mmmm.. sedap!!!

    thanks Zue, kalau ada resepi lagi share2lah....

  4. Hai yeany,
    Yippee... i ada geng...betul u...I mmg rasa kari tu alien sangat, mcm benda susah sangat nak buat, now ni kira okay lah...
    ni resepi zaman sekolah, kami dulu ada Sains Rumah Tangga, am so glad that this was one of the recipes. ada lagi yang I masih buat, nanti Zue masuk dlm ni, penkek tapi kami panggil serabai barat. siapa2 rasa, selalu tanya resepi.

    I'm glad you daughter suka.nanti i nak masuk entry daging masak pun confirm my tastela..orang lain, tak tahulah....

  5. makanannya enak nih,, jadi pengen makan,,,hehe