Ayam Percik – Spiced Coconut Grilled Chicken


Today (and the days leading up to it) my social media feed has been full of photos of my friends celebrating Eid. While I am not Muslim, being part of the celebrations is part and parcel of growing up in Malaysia. I have many memories of visiting friends at their homes and being fed very well.

And while I am aching for some of my closest friends’ dads’ rendang (like a beef ) curry right now – I have decided I will make something to feel part of it all. However, I am not making rendang – partly cause it is a labour of love & also because I do not have some of the ingredients, so I have decided on something equally yummy.

During the fasting month there are food bazaars that line the streets selling all sorts of goodies. I used to frequent them with my colleagues, grabbing our dinner before our on calls together at the hospital. One of my must have dishes is Ayam Percik – (the closest translation is splashed chicken?) which is a grilled chicken which is basted in a spiced creamy sauce served with rice.

While it is usually basted and grilled slowly over a grill, since I lack the outdoor space I have adopted the recipe for my oven instead. (I will give instructions for the grill too).

Ayam percik goodness


Onion Blend
3 red chillies
14 shallots
10 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of oil
3 tbsp Water
2 inch ginger
5 candlenuts/10 cashews

Chicken marinade
8 chicken thigh & legs
0.5 tbsp turmeric
0.5 tbsp coriander
0.5 tbsp cumin
1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
1 tablespoon galangal paste
1/2 onion blend

1/2 onion blend
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
0.5 tbsp chilli powder (you can omit this)
1 tbsp lemongrass paste
1 tbsp galangal paste
1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
1 tbsp Tamarind paste

Fresh lemongrass, tamarind and galangal is not so easy to come by so I have added the paste instead (Sainsburys stocks them). But if you have fresh galangal (about 1 inch) and 3 stalks (the white bit) of lemongrass can be added to the onion blend instead.


1. Marinade the chicken with the spices and set aside
2. Next we make the sauce. Fry the cumin, coriander, chilli, turmeric with the onion mix.
3. Once it is fragrant add 1 can of coconut milk, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp tamarind paste ( can be omitted or use 1 tbsp lime juice mixed with 1 tbsp brown sugar).
4. Let it simmer, when the oil rises it is cooked. (If you don’t cook the sauce it can be rather bitter)
4. Pour half the sauce over the marinated chicken and let rest overnight.
5. Put marinaded chicken in oven tray and grill for 15 minutes at 165 degrees celcius.
6. After 25 minutes, take the chicken out and baste with some of the sauce that was set aside. Pop back in the oven and chicken should be ready in 45 minutes.

If on the BBQ (as it should be)
1. Baste chicken with the sauce every few minutes as you turn it over.

Serve with the left over sauce on the side/on chicken with rice or grilled vegetables.

Enjoy! Also Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Eid Mubarak to those celebrating!

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