For me, cooking is very much a going-with-the-flow kind of thing.
Most days, I cook what I feel like eating. Other days, it’s what’s in my fridge that dictates what gets served for dinner.
Today, it was the cooking method that inspired me.
I wanted to pound on something. I woke up with the need to “TOMBOK” (pound) something! Really, I am not a violent person. I just like the nostalgic feelings the mortar and pestle evokes.
To cook something that requires pounding meant looking into my Peranakan guide – since most Peranakan dishes involve tombok-ing.
This dish is really simple to make. REALLY!!
To start, I peeled and cut some shallots into smaller pieces.
Then I bashed them up in a mortar and pestle. You can always use a blender if you wish.
I prefer a little texture in my food, so I did not totally grind the shallots into nothing-ness.
I toasted some coriander powder in a skillet – this took a minute. DO NOT walk away!
And combined this with dark soy sauce, shallots, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl.
This was placed in a bowl with the chicken.
Along with the water from soaking the tamarind.
Everything was mixed, and the chicken was placed in the fridge, covered, to marinate for several hours.
When I was ready to cook, the chicken and all the liquid was placed in a casserole, and the chicken was cooked, covered, on medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken was cooked through and had become tender. I gave the chicken a stir occasionally.
Then the chicken was removed, and the gravy was left to thicken in the pot.
I deep fried the chicken until they turned golden brown and drained them on kitchen towels. I guess you can always choose to skip this step if you do not want your chicken to be a little crispy.
Alternatively, you can also shallow fry the chicken using 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Or, as a reader suggested, you can roast the chicken in an oven too! (Thanks, Michelle Quah for the suggestion!) And another suggested to air fry the chicken, which is also a great idea! (Thanks, Audrey Sim 🙂 )
Finally, just before serving, I added the gravy to the chicken and garnished the dish with some chopped spring onion.
The LAM said this tasted a little like Chicken Rendang, but sweeter (because of the shallots).
Well, this is a whole lot easier to cook than Chicken Rendang!!
Yep, I shall be cooking this again!
- 1 chicken (about 1.5kg), cut into serving pieces
- 2 tablespoons tamarind, mixed with 450ml water
- 10 shallots, ground
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder, toasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon vinegar - I used rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper - I used ground white pepper
- 1 sprig spring onion, chopped
- Marinate the chicken pieces for several hours.
- Place the chicken and liquid in a casserole and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, on medium heat, until chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Remove the chicken and set aside. Allow the gravy to continue to simmer (uncovered) until it thickens.
- In a skillet, fry the chicken pieces in a little oil, or deep fry them until golden brown. This step is optional.
- Add the thickened gravy to the chicken, garnish with chopped spring onions and serve immediately.
I am submitting this recipe for Cook-Your-Books hosted by Kitchen Flavours.