Nonya Recipes #3

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(#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 for pictures and description of the ingredients

  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 Tbsp 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 previously emptied 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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