Assam Ayam (Tamarind Curry with Chicken)

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Now that I’ve been back in Singapore for two weeks, my tolerance for spicy food has returned to it’s pre-2008 levels, back when I actually lived here. Now, I can have all the sambal, assam, curries, ma la chilies and spicy food I want. Strangely enough, this increased tolerance for spice happened the instant I stepped back in Singapore. (Truth be told, Jason has a higher tolerance for spicy foods than I do. I’m a very bad Asian person.)

Anyway, we’ve recently been cooking a lot of assam things. It’s just like curry, but without the guilt – so lemak even without coconut milk – I like that!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 chicken thighs, debone, deskin and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 8 sections
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons chili paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Directions
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To make tamarind juice, mix the tamarind paste with the water, and squeeze to release the tamarind juices.

Drain the tamarind water mixture and discard the pulp. You now have tamarind juice.

In a heated pot, add oil and fry the onions with the chili paste.

When the onions turn slightly soft, add in the chicken, and fry until the chicken is half cooked.

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Add the tamarind juice, salt and water into the chicken.

Bring the tamarind juice to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.

Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The tamarind juice will reduce.

Serve with rice.

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