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Ayam Percik – Spicy Barbequed Chicken

This beautifully seasoned chicken is very popular and sold at roadside food stalls all over the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. A great recipe for the BBQ or for the indoor kitchen!


  • 4 whole chicken legs, bone in, skin on, excess fat trimmed

  • Marinade

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger

  • 2 red chilli, de-seeded

  • 3 shallots

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Sauce

  • 5 shallots

  • 2 fresh red chillies – de-seeded

  • 1 inch fresh ginger

  • 1 Tb sugar (palm or brown)

  • 1 Tb tamarind paste

  • 1 Tb cooking oil

  • 300mls coconut milk


  • 1.

    Make cuts in skin and meat of chicken. Set aside.

  • 2.

    Grind marinade ingredients into a paste and rub into chicken. Put on a rack and grill under high heat (or on a BBQ) until the skin is charred in places, turn and repeat in other side. While this is happening make the sauce.

  • 3.

    Chop the spice paste ingredients (shallots, chilli, ginger, sugar, tamarind) and blend finely in a mortar and pestle (or food processor). Heat oil in a pot and fry the spice paste for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until reduced by half. Season with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until sauce thickens.

  • 4.

    Coat each piece of grilled chicken in the sauce and then finish cooking it by roasting at 250 C for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Baste a few times with more sauce as it cooks if you can be bothered or bring remaining sauce to simmer in pot and serve alongside chicken when cooked.

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