A Banjar aunt reminisced “Oh yes, that was what your grandmother used to tell us – that your mother used to make everything better than “orang kita” (“our own people”). And that by any standards, is high praise indeed ~My Mother’s Table
One of the best family recipes that our friend, Intan so kindly shared with us is her mother’s Opor Ayam. For her, Opor is a dish that only the best of the best cooks her paternal family members can prepare. However, her mother has proved that wrong by getting such a praise by one of her Banjar aunts.
Opor is a type of dish cooked and braised in coconut milk from Indonesia, especially from Central Java. It is a popular dish that is usually served for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and is usually eaten with ketupat and sambal beef liver. Once you tried this family gem of a recipe, you will be begging for seconds!
- 1 whole chicken – chopped into 12 pieces. (Cleaned)
- Blended ingredients (blend finely in a food processor):
- 3 fresh red chilies
- 5 dried red chilies (soaked in hot water) or 2 tablespoons of chilli powder
- Half a stick of the root-end of lemongrass
- 10 red shallots or 2 large red onions
- 5 gram of lengkuas
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 gram of young ginger root
- 5 gram of fresh turmeric root or 1 tablespoon of dried turmeric powder
- 2 sticks of lemongrass (bruised)
- 3 pieces of asam keping
- 2 large fresh tomatoes (chopped)
- 4 fl oz of fresh first-pressed santan
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Chopped spring onions and chopped chinese celery leaf
- 1/4 cup of flavorless cooking oil
- Heat oil in a pot. Fry the 2 sticks of bruised lemongrass.
- Fry the blended ingredients until fragrant and ‘pecah minyak‘ . This should take about 10 minutes on a medium fire with occasional stirring.
- Add the chicken pieces. Stir through and add in the chopped tomatoes.
- Cover the pot with a lid. Leave on a medium to low fire until it boils and chicken is cooked through. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Once chicken is cooked, add santan and seasoning. Leave pot lid off and boil on low fire.
- Once the colour of the dish has deepened to a rich orange colour and the oil has risen to the top, turn off the fire and put in the garnish.
A recipe is the best when it is well-preserved from generation to generation and this Opor Ayam recipe gives you the exact nostalgia feel that most city-dwellers and modern society so crave to taste. Let us know, if Intan’s Opor Ayam recipe speaks to you because to us, it definitely does!