Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tamarind Chicken/ Assam Ayam

This is a variation of the Babi Assam that I tried many years ago.  Since I am going to cut down on buying pork these days and just stick to chicken or turkey from now on, unless that is a particular pork dish that I really wanted to cook, I will refrain from buying pork.  There is no special reason just that I want to switch to my original diet plan before I started slacking and buying more pork few years back.

The Babi Assam kept calling me as I remembered I liked the sauce and flavor a lot.  So, I attempted to recreate this dish with drumsticks and with the ingredients I have at home.  This sauce went so well with rice even my girls enjoyed this slightly spicy sourish sauce with their rice.  If you want to cook something different with chicken, give this dish a try!


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, chopped into half (became 16 pieces)
  • 3 Tbsp. tamarind paste mixed with 300ml hot water, smashed and squeezed out the tamarind juice, sieve into a bowl, set aside.
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass, bruised
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper

Ground Spices:
  • 6 shallots
  • 8 cloves garlic if small, 6 cloves garlic if big
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 green/red Thai chili
  • 3 Tbsp. Yeo's salted soy bean
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander


1.  Put all the ground spices in a food processor and process until fine.  Set aside.

2.  Chop the drumsticks and marinate it with ShaoHsing rice cooking wine (Hua Tiao), light soy sauce and white pepper.

3.  Heat up a large saucepan with a little cooking oil.  When heated, add in the ground spices and lemon grass.  Stir-fry until fragrant.  Add in the marinated chicken, stir-well.

4.  Add in the 300ml of tamarind juice, stir-well.  Add in the seasonings: brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Let it boils.  Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for an hour to an hour and half or until the chicken release its juices and soft.  Do a taste test and see whether you need to adjust the taste or not.  Serve with hot rice!


Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

Wow this looks fantastic, what a great recipe!! :)

Nava K said...

Very Portuguese style of preparation and looks so tempting. We have the same taste of food at home and this will be a sure sell-out. I have trying something similar but with prawns before.

Melanie said...

This chicken looks so flavorful! Very interesting recipe, and a great pic!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Goodness, these flavors are unforgettable. Looks way too good.... Going to give this a try.

daphne said...

I could just imagine the slight tangy taste of this gravy and rice. Why are you avoiding pork??

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) said...

wow, love the flavours in this! So appetising :)

shannon@JustAsDelish said...

Oh my, I am salivating looking at the photos. I swear could smell the taramind, spices and lemon grass!
And you have been given an award - by ME! drop by my blog to pick up your award ok?

tigerfish said...

I have not cooked pork at home for a long long time till I was injured recently and need "meat" bones for soup :O

I don't abstain from pork (I still eating those BBQ ribs when I dine out) ;p ....any reason why you are cooking less pork too ( or in the past?)

chopinandmysaucepan said...

This looks pretty good although I am not a big fan of assam dishes. Much prefer the traditional curry flavours.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Daphne and Tigerfish, well just want to cut down on red meat. I don't refrain when eating out or have it once in a while. My parents have high cholesterol and I was brought up not to eat red meat or eat it sparingly.

Babe_KL said...

I totally dig tamarind paste. I loved to just slather them on to fish or prawns and then fry them!

Awayofmind Bakery House said...

wow! Lovely dish, like to have lot of gravy to go with rice :)

Ali said...

Wow!! looks so delicious... mouth watering. Love the photo its so appealing. I will definitely try the tamarind chicken :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Need more rice to go with this dish, especially the gravy sound so good.

Noob Cook said...

I like anything assam... the meat looks tender and delicious.

Unknown said...

Looks delicious..... Will surely try this...Is tamarind juice available in market...??