Melaka, you will think off Baba-Nyonya food which has the influence of Malay and Chinese culture. Like other curry lots of spices are used in this Chicken Kapitan. One thing unique is soya bean paste is added which usually appear in Chinese cooking.
I found that the chili paste which sold in packets (some in container) are more on salty side. Therefore I used the fresh type which I get from Indian spice shop. If you are Malaysian you can easily find such spices shops in wet market place. The owner will ask you how spicy (heat) you like. I choose the medium type. However my curry turns out more on spicy side. I think the amount of chili paste used in this recipe quite a lot and cause super spicy instead of medium. Hubby can't eat much (who used to eat most of the meat) due to too 'hot' for him :D I am from Penang and I grew up having spicy food. I definitely enjoy this spicy Chicken Kapitan. So do consider the level of heat before you buy :)
I read on somewhere there is coconut version of Kapitan. I’m sure they both taste equally great!
Adapted and slightly modified from Zesty Southeast Asian Treats cookbook
1kg chicken, cut into pieces
1 piece dried tamarind peel
4 tablespoons tamarind paste (asam jawa)
300ml warm water
* Stir to mix and set aside for few minutes. Strain and remove the seeds.
15 pieces shallots (about 100g)
½ thumb sized turmeric
2 stalks lemon grass
2 candlenuts (buah keras)
1 teaspoon peppercorn
1 tablespoon bean paste
120g chili paste
1 inch cinnamon bark
2 tablespoon sugar
1. Grind ingredients (B) into spice paste.
2. Add in 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil into hot wok. Add in the grinded spice paste together with chili paste and cinnamon bark. Stir fry till the stage where the oil separated from the spices. Red oil will appear by the side of the cooked spices.
3. Put in chicken pieces and stir mix for few minutes. Add in tamarind juice and dried tamarind peel. Bring the water to boil, lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the gravy thicken and chicken is cooked.
4. Add in sugar and stir evenly. Dish out and enjoy!