You can find Ayam Bakar Padang at most Padang eateries in almost every parts of Indonesia. People love the flavour and richness of spices. My suggestion if you can’t handle the heat, just reduce the amount of chilies but don’t reduce other spices quantity.
Oil is something that I found it can be substituted by cooking the spices in coconut milk through my learning of cooking rendang as most Minangese do. This Ayam Bakar Padang will be perfect to be enjoyed with Boiled Cassava Leaves and Sambal Lado Mudo (Sambal Ijo).
Ayam Bakar Padang Recipe
1 whole chicken (about 1.5 kg or 3.3 lbs), cut into smaller pieces about 12 pieces
5 kaffir lime leaves, tear the leaves
2 dried turmeric leaves
1 asam kandis (dried wild mangosteen)
2 lemongrass, take the white parts and mash
3 cups or 700 ml coconut milk
seasalt to season
Spices to be ground*:
7 cloves garlic
4 toasted candlenuts
14 long red cayenne peppers
1-inch length turmeric roots
2 1/4-inch length of galangal
2 1/4-inch length of ginger
1 tbsp toasted coriander seed
3/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, cinnamon powder, and ground white pepper
* Cheat sheet: some spices (turmeric, coriander, fennel, cinnamon) to be ground can be substituted with Malay style curry powder. You just have to add shallots, garlic, candlenuts, ginger and galangal into your grinder. The fresh chilies can be also substituted with dried chilies or red chili powder.
1. In a wok or pot, add coconut milk and ground spices. Bring to a boil at a medium high heat.
2. Reduce the heat to low. Add chicken pieces, asam kandis, turmeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass.
3. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Make sure to stir them once a while to prevent burn on the bottom wok or pot.
4. Take the chicken pieces out and broil them in the oven or you can bbq them on the grill or bbq.
5. Serve with sambal lado mudo (green chilie sambal) and blanched green vegetables.