Turmeric chicken is one of my family’s favourite dishes. Originally, we grill this over charcoal or in the oven grill using the grill setting. It is also known as broiling in the US, I think.
Since years back, the food vendors grill the fish or chicken over a stove or charcoal and call it grilled fish or chicken or whatever. The food is usually marinated in spices. The fish or food is usually wrapped in banana leaves.
I think grilling food over open charcoal fire is rather cumbersome when it needs to be done in a commercial way. Hence I think they improvise by using a grill pan. The seasoned fish or chicken is then place on top of banana leaves and is actually pan fried. I suppose that is how it became to be known as grilled fish or chicken, even though it isn’t technically grilled.
Coming back to the dish itself, I used to season the chicken or fish with fresh ingredients like garlic, shallot. etc. Sometimes I am just not up to going through all the hassle to pound those aromatics. I say pound is because sometimes the quantity is too small to use a blender or chopper. So I am using powdered ingredients.
We used to make this accompaniment to fish with sliced shallots with belacan (shrimp paste) chillies and tamarind or lime. This time, I am using the base ingredients and adding some fresh tomato and mango. This is the jazzed up version of the traditional Lam Chut. It is like a salsa.
So here is my improvised recipe for the lazy person. It is quick and easy to make without all the cutting and chopping.
It is also great as a BBQ item if you are planning to hold a BBQ party.
Here are some recipes using turmeric or kunyit in Malay or Ooi Kneow in the Hokkien dialect.
Enjoy and please share with a link to here, if you like the recipe.
Turmeric Chicken, Grilled or Pan Fried
- or hot plate, grill pan
Marinate or Rub
- tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp lemon grass powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
- 500 g Skin on boneless chicken thighs or legs omit the skin if you wish
Lam Chut ( Toamato and Mango Salsa)
- 50 g shallots sliced
- 1 bird's eye chilli
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce or caramelise dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 lime
- 1/2 tomato, deseeded and diced
- 1/4 mango flesh, diced
- Marinade the chicken pieces with all the marinade ingredients for 4 hours or overnight
- Spray a pan, a wok or a grill pan with oil.
- Place the chicken skin side down on the heated pan.
- Pan fry on medium heat for 3 minutes, or 4 minutes if the chicken is thicker.
- Use a spatula or a potato masher or similar apparatus to press the chicken lightly so that the chicken is evenly cooked on that surface (optional).
- Turnover the chicken and fry on the other side for another 3 minutes or so.
- Make sure it is slightly charred so that it has a lovely barbeque smell.
- To check that the chicken is cooked: cut the chicken. There should not be pink juice running out.
- If you are using the oven grill, grill on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.
- Turn it over and grill for another 8 or so minutes.
- Serve with the Lam Chut or salsa.
- Mix all the ingredients together and check the taste.
- Add more of the soy sauce or lime, etc to get a tangy mix of sweet sour and salty with the pungent chllies and shallots.
- Serve as accompaniment to the chicken.