Written by: Kampung Eats
assed down three decades, this dish has served as a family staple for Auntie Siti. Since she was 13 years old, her mother would often cook this dish for her - which she best enjoy with carrots and potatoes.
This popular dish, Ayam Lemak Chilli, translates to ‘chicken in spicy turmeric coconut curry’. Lemak, directly meaning ‘fatty richness’, refers to the creaminess of coconut milk. The steps are simple for beginners to follow, and the spiciness level is adjustable. Auntie Siti loves spicy food, hence the generous 20 pieces of chilli padi delivers that ‘kick’.
Auntie Siti learnt to cook this dish when she got married in her early 30s. Around this age, she picked up cooking while working at a canteen. With 3 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, this dish remains well-loved. She has taught her granddaughter the recipe to keep this family recipe alive.
Her mother emphasises that “The secret to making it more flavourful is to boil, not stir-fry the rempah”.
Adding tamarind flakes can bring out even more fragrance from the ingredients. Lastly, Auntie Siti shares a bonus tip: Any leftover coconut milk can be preserved in the freezer to use next time!