Saturday, 18 February 2012

Gulai Ayam with Roti Jala

Where are you right now?

I am in my office, trying not to notice the thick blanket of snow out the window, and dreaming of Malaysian food.

Of spicy chicken curry and spongy, lacy crepes for eating it with.

Forks are over-rated, everything should be eaten in a loving pinch of crepes.


Gulai Ayam
Coconut Milk Chicken Curry
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Duguid and Alford

Spice Blends

Dry Spices
One 2-3 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 Tbsp coriander seed
1 Tbsp cumin seed

½ turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt

Wet Spices
4 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
8 oz (½ lb) shallots, peeled and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ cup unsalted cashews

Toast the dry spices, except the turmeric and salt, and grind fine in a spice grinder. Add the turmeric and salt and set aside.
Whiz up the wet spice mix in a food processor, set aside.


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 stalks lemongrass, bashed with the blunt edge of a knife, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup coconut milk, plus more if necessary
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach leaves

Heat up the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add in the wet spice mix and cook on medium/high for 4-5 minutes, stirring. Add in the dry spice mix and cook another minute. Add in chicken and stir to coat. Add in lemongrass, coconut milk and water. Let come to a boil, turn down heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, remove cover and cook another 15 minutes, letting sauce reduce and thicken. (Stir once in a while) Add in spinach and adjust seasonings and liquids to taste.
Serve with roti jala.

Roti Jala
Lacy Coconut Milk Crepes
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

You can puncture the bottom of a can to create the holes for the batter to run through, or use a perforated spoon, as I did. 

1 cup AP flour
½ tsp table salt
10 oz canned coconut milk, shaken
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large egg

Combine the flour and salt well, make a well in the centre. Add in the liquids and stir well until smooth. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Heat up a non-stick crepe pan or lightly oiled cast iron pan to medium.
Lightly stir the batter and scoop up enough batter to make one crepe. Transfer to your perforated can or spoon over the hot pan and make swirling motions to make a lacy crepe. Cook 30 seconds on one side, a little less on the other, and stack on a plate lined with a tea-towel - with wax paper between each crepe to keep them from sticking together. Cover the finished stack with a tea-towel to keep them warm for serving.

BYOB Badge Baking through Flatbreads and Flavors, February Breads part two.