Since I could remember, I have been fascinated with cooking. Cooking is therapeutic, it is magic, it can soothe my nerves and healing my broken heart. Cooking is like a meditation for me, it makes me forget all my problems. Everytime I feel sad or feeling down, I use cooking to finding back my core.
I like to cook food with a lot of herbs and spices like this Acehnese fried chicken. Ayam tangkap literally means caught chicken (I’m not sure why they named it caught chicken), this is a staple dish from Aceh. The chicken seasoned and marinated with spices and then fried together with pandan leaves, curry leaves and sliced chillies.
Grinding spices with mortar and pestle its the best way to chaneling my emotions. I started cooking with anger and sadness feeling but then the aroma of spices hitting my nose and makes me calm.
- 10 red chillies
- 10 large green chillies
- 10 small green chillies
- 20 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 knob ginger, approximately 3cm, peeled
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 spring chicken, cut into 10 pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juices
- 1 cup curry leaves
- 3 red curly chillies, sliced
- Combine all the bumbu tangkap ingredients in a mortar andestle and grind it roughly. If you don’t have mortar and pestle, the small blender work as well, just make sure the paste is not too smooth when you grind it.
- Marinate the chicken with 2 tablespoon bumbu tangkap and lime juice for about a couple hours or one night.
- Heat cooking oil in a wok or large pan. Fry chicken until golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a clean pan, heat shallow level of cooking oil and fry curry leaves, sliced pandan leaves and sliced red curly chillies until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Transfer fried chicken, sauteed bumbu tangkap, fried leaves mixture to new clean wok. Mix and cook all the ingredients for few minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice.