Ayam Rendang

Chicken in Spicy Coconut Gravy


Preparation info

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Growing Up In A Nonya Kitchen

Growing Up In A Nonya Kitchen

By Sharon Wee

Published 2012

  • About

My mother learnt to make this from the old Jubilee restaurant. It was one of the dishes taught to her at the back of their Arab Street restaurant back in the 1960s. Over the years, she adjusted the ingredient amounts to suit her own palate and to make up for the evolutionary change in the flavours of these ingredients.


  • 12 to 15 pieces chicken, preferably thighs or drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon fennel (jintan manis)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (jintan puteh)
  • tablespoons chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 70 g or ounces ginger, skinned and julienned
  • 15 g or ½ ounce garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 150 g or 5 ounces shallots, peeled and sliced finely
  • 1 cup coconut milk, reserve coconut cream
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, stems removed
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (cilantro), stems removed


    1. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry.
    2. Grind the fennel, cumin, chilli powder, ground turmeric powder, ginger and garlic.
    3. Heat a Dutch oven and add oil. Fry the sliced shallots until light golden brown. Add the ground ingredients and fry over low heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn the spice paste. Add the chicken pieces. Pour in the coconut milk, reserving the top layer of coconut cream for use later. Turn up the heat and bring to boil. Toss in the quartered tomatoes. Lower heat to a simmer. Season with salt.
    4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the mint and coriander leaves.