We have always wanted to cook this dish, and seized the opportunity when we had some leftover kerisik.
East Coast love
Kerutuk Ayam is a famous dish from the states of Kelantan and Terengganu located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This dish is commonly served during festive seasons such as wedding ceremonies and Hari Raya, and is also commonly eaten to break fast during Ramadhan.
Most Kelantanese would buy the paste from the local market to make this dish. However, we decided to make our own as we were unable to obtain the paste. We adapted our recipe from Betty Yew’s Rasa Malaysia cookbook, published in 1982.
What is Kerutuk Ayam?
So, what is Kerutuk Ayam?
Typical of Kelantanese cuisine, kerutuk ayam is a chicken dish slow-braised in coconut milk and spices to yield flavorful and superbly tender meat. Think rendang, but with more gravy. The flavour also reminded us of ayam percik, another famous Kelantanese dish.
Spicy, savoury and sweet
Our family enjoyed this dish. Our ayam kerutuk is mildly spicy, savoury, and sweet, with a hint of sourness from tamarind. The heat comes from the dried chillies, with sweetness from the gula Melaka and aroma from the santan and spices.
We love the thick gravy (think in between rendang and gulai), which goes very well with Nasi Dagang.
In our mind, Kelantanese dishes (such as kerutuk, percik and kuzi) tend to be on the sweeter side. However, according to a friend, every Kelantanese family would have their own version and preference for these dishes.
Besides chicken, kerutuk can also be cooked with beef, prawns and even duck.
Check out similar recipes
If you enjoy Malay dishes that’s rich and super flavourful, check out these following recipes:
More Malay recipes can be found here.
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Key steps in Pictures
Kerutuk Ayam RECIPECourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: MalayDifficulty: Easy
Here’s our take on the famous Kelantanese dish – chicken coated in spicy, sweet, and savoury gravy.
1.5kg whole chicken, cut into pieces
4 tbsp kerisik
1/2 cup cooking oil
- Blended ingredients
2-inch turmeric root, cut
2-inch ginger, cut
2-inch galangal, cut
2 tbsp coriander powder
5 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
7 dried chillies, soaked and seeds removed
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup water
- Other ingredients
1 lemongrass stalk, smashed
dried chillies, soaked and seeds remove, cut
2 asam keping
1 tbsp gula Melaka, or to taste
3 tsp salt, or to taste
- In a food processor, blend all the “blended ingredients” listed above. Set aside.
- Combine chicken with kerisik and blended ingredients. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat up cooking oil in wok and fry shallots, dried chillies, the cinnamon stick and star anises until fragrant.
- Add the marinated chicken, lemongrass and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Cover with lid and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- When the liquid has reduced and oil has emerged on the surface (naik minyak), add santan, asam keping, gula Melaka and salt. Mix well.
- Cover with lid, and let it simmer for 40-60 minutes until chicken is tender and the sauce reduces to become thick gravy. Serve.