Ayam Cincalok (Chicken with Preserved Krill)

  • 180ml (¾ cup) cooking oil
  • 15 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1kg chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 140g (~5 oz) preserved krill (cincalok), liquid drained
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400ml tamarind extract, 
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 red and 3 green chillies, halved lengthways, seeded and cut into small pieces

  • 17 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder or 5cm fresh peeled turmeric
  • 5 stalks lemon grass, white bulbous ends, sliced

  1. In a food processor homogenise the paste ingredients or pound and grind them into a paste with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat the cooking oil and sauté shallots and garlic until crisp. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the same oil, fry the finely ground paste until aromatic. Add the chicken, cincalok and lime leaves.
  4. Add the tamarind juice. Balance the sour with the sugar adding a bit at a time because tamarind juice can have great variation in its sourness. 
  5. Cook until the gravy thickens.
  6. Stir in chillies and half of the crisp-fried shallots and garlic. Remove from the heat.
  7. Garnish with the remaining crisp-fried shallots and garlic just before serving.