I love this curry for its depths of flavor and it is really moreish. The addition of tamarind really cuts through the richness of the coconut milk resulting in a dish that is light but leaves a gentle tingle on your lips. I also love the story of how this dish is conceived. Legend has it that a Chinese cook was frusfrated not able to find ingredients he was used to in China to cook for his ‘Kapitan’ (Captain in Malay) One day he came across a Malay woman cooking next door and it was very enticing. So he went and asked the woman to teach him, however he knew the curry would be too hot for his Kapitan’s tastebuds. So after a bit of experiments, he served up this curry one evening when the Kapitan has some guests over for a dinner party. He loved the dish and asked the Chinese cook what it is. He replied ‘ ayam, Kapitan’ which mean ‘chicken, captain’. The Kapitan misunderstood and thus named it Ayam Kapitan. Traditionally this dish contains belacan (shrimp paste) but I left it out as I cooked it for my MasterChef interview without due to the risk of seafood allergy and actually preferred it without.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes