Ayam masak merah is a chicken dish cooked in a red sauce. The red sauce comes from tomatoes and is mildly spiced with aromatics such as ginger, garlic and dried chillies. Chicken pieces in ayam masak merah must be marinated with tumeric powder and deep fried before braising in the spiced tomato gravy. As the gravy thickens, it develops more flavours along with the fried turmeric chicken.
While turmeric powder is used in this dish, you can opt for fresh turmeric. Use at least 2 tablespoons of fresh turmeric. With the skin removed, pound the turmeric until it becomes a paste. Optionally, add 0.5 tablespoon of water to it and rub the chicken with turmeric paste and salt.
Tomato is added to the dish for its colour and also to add sweetness to the gravy. In summer, tomatoes can get exceptionally sweet while winter offers tomatoes which are milder in taste. Instead of using fresh tomatoes, substitute with half a can of tomato puree for this recipe.
Ayam masak merah is only mildly spiced. If you are cooking for someone who is not able to take any spice, omit the dried chillies from the recipe. Otherwise, simply follow the tips in handling dried chillies to reduce the spiciness.
I adore the slight hint of spiciness in the dish. Normally, chicken meat is mixed with plain flour before they are fried. In this recipe, turmeric is added to the flour. The addition of the turmeric enhances the flavour of the fried chicken meat, thus could be eaten just as they are. If you are someone like me who loves flooding your plate of rice with gravy, this is the perfect dish for you!
Ayam Masak Merah is also known as: Spicy tomato chicken
Marinate chicken meat with turmeric powder and salt for 15 minutes.
Fry chicken meat after they had been marinated for 15 minutes.
Blend ingredients yellow onion, ginger, garlic and chillies. Sauté blended ingredients in oil over medium heat until fragrant. Then, add the diced tomato and ketchup.
Add water to the sauted ingredients and cook at highest heat. Once the gravy starts to boil, reduce heat to the lowest to let gravy simmer. When gravy thicken thickness, add the fried chicken meat and mix well.