Tomato chicken (ayam masak tomato)

Tomato chicken is a variation of ayam masak merah (chicken in spicy sauce).  I bought some chicken drumsticks from the butcher’s earlier and cooked them in this lovely tomato sauce, perfect comfort food for a rainy day.  I rarely use chicken breast in asian cooking.  I grew up eating chicken on the bone, Hubby doesn’t mind it either and it is cheaper than chicken breasts. You could always substitute chicken drumstick with boneless chicken thighs. 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

A) Chicken

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

B) Sauce

  • 2 shallots, pealed (1 chopped*), (1 sliced)
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded*
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds*
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled*
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced*
  • 1/2 inch galangal, peeled*
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered – half to be blended*, reserve remainder
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 1 start anise
  • 1 lemon grass, bruised
  • 1 tsp curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinate the chicken with chilli powder, curry powder and salt for 10 minutes
  2. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees
  3. Heat oil in a wok and fry the chicken drumsticks in batches of 2 for 4 minutes each. Reserve 1/2 the oil
  4. Transfer to a foil-lined baking tray and add the quartered potatoes
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  6. Pound the ingredients marked * using a mortar and pestle (or blender) into a paste
  7. Heat the reserved oil and fry the shallots in the same wk for a minute, followed by the ground paste over a low heat for 5 minutes
  8. Add the cinnamon, star anise, lemon grass and curry leaves to the paste and fry for another minute
  9. Remove the chicken and potatoes from the oven and transfer into the wok. Mix well
  10. Add the ketchup, palm sugar and water and leave to cook for 10 minutes over a low heat with the lid on
  11. Once the sauce has come together (you may have to add a bit more water to loosen the sauce), add the remaining quartered tomato, season with salt and pepper.  Leave to cook for 2 minutes
  12. Serve with steamed rice



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