Nonya Recipes #3

Ayam/Babi Buah Keluak

Recipe Name: Ayam/Babi Buah Keluak

Category: Nonya/Singapore

This is the traditional and well-known Nonya dish, normally available in restaurants with only chicken (ayam) and buah keluak.
The addition of pork ribs (babi) is optional, but which I believe is the traditional form.
This dish is an acquired taste for those not familiar with the unusual black buah keluak, but is otherwise a form of chicken curry.

Ingredients List: goto glossary

a) 1 whole chicken (about 2-1/2Kg)
b) half Kg of pork ribs (optional)
c) 15 to 20 buah keluak
d) half Kg medium prawns
e) 1 stalk lemon grass (serai)
f) 6 slices langkwas
g) 3 slices yellow-ginger (kunyit)
h) 6 buah keras
i) 12 red onions
j) 12 dried chillies
k) 1 inch sliced piece of belachan - roasted
l) 4 Tbs assam
m) salt and sugar to taste


First, wash the buah keluak and soak overnight in a bowl of water.
Cut the chicken and pork ribs into medium sized pieces.
Shell and mince the prawns and put aside.
Crack the buah keluak "nuts" and after making a small opening in each nut, scoop out the contents into a bowl (keep the empty nut shells for later use). Mix the minced prawns together with the buah keluak contents, pinch of salt and sugar, and pound together in a mortar.
When done, stuff this mixture back into the buah keluak shells.
Crush the lemon grass.
Pound together in a mortar or food processor, all the items f) to l) which make up the "rempah".
After the "rempah" is ready, heat a wok or frying pan and fry the rempah with the lemon grass.
Add the pork ribs (optional) and then followed by the chicken, then cover with water.
Bring to the boil, and season to taste, then add the stuffed buah keluak.
Add the assam and simmer until chicken and pork are cooked and tender.

To Serve: Ladle chicken, pork ribs and buah keluak in a bowl, serve with steamed white rice.

Comments: Remember to soak the buah keluak well, as they are poisonous when freshly picked!


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