This Nyonya Chicken Curry - Ayam Kleo was first introduced to me at my favourite Malaysian restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Their menu is legendary, with so many amazing dishes like Laksa, Roti Canai, Chicken Kapitan, Beef Curry and the delightful Kari Ayam. But it was another Kari that featured that was the most special - a vibrant orange curry named Ayam Kleo. It would be the dish of dreams - I'd eat it every day if I could - juicy, tender chicken sits in an intensely colourful and fragrant coconut sauce infused with lemongrass, turmeric, shrimp paste and more...
What is Nyonya Cuisine?
Nyonya, also known as Peranakan cuisine was born from the early Chinese migrants to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Over time the meshing of cooking techniques and flavours grew into what we call today Nonya or Nyonya cuisine. The resulting flavours are tangy, sweet, spicy and herbal. A huge variety of fragrant herbs, roots and spices go into a complex balance of sweetness, sourness, spice and salt. Nyonyan food has an intoxicating variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Ayam Kleo is a typical Nyonyan curry and, in my opinion, one of the most prized of all South East Asian Curries. It also features on my Best Malaysian Curry Recipes - a selection of the most amazing, flavourful curries IN THE WORLD! I implore you to check it out!
Stuff you'll need
To create the magically flavourful and colourful sauce yourself, you'll need a few special ingredients to make the curry paste.