Gai Makham (Tamarind Chicken)

Gai Makham (Tamarind Chicken)
4.5 from 2 ratings
 Tamarind water adds a sour, zesty taste to curries and other dishes, but you can use lime juice as a substitute — you'll need double the quantity, though. To make tamarind water, take some ripe, sour tamarind fruit, remove the hard outer skin and throw it away. Soak the inner core in hot water for 15 minutes until the pulp can be squeezed to produce the water. The water is normally used immediately, but can be kept in the fridge for a few days. Some villagers in Thailand dry-fry the remaining seeds and eat with salt and sugar as a snack, but this is probably an acquired taste!Recipe excerpted from 50 Great Curries of Thailand by Vatcharan Bhumichitr. Published by Kyle Books. Click here to purchase your own copy.
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind water
  • 1 tablespoon massaman curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped, to garnish
  • 7 large dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ounce shallots, peeled and finely chopped (about 21/2–3 tbsp.)
  • 11/2 ounce garlic, peeled and finely chopped (about 5 tbsp.)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh galangal, dry-fried until brown
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped and toasted until brown
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro root
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 8 whole cardamom pods, toasted, husks removed, and seeds scraped out
  • 1 small nutmeg, toasted, break the shell off, and use the meat inside
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 cloves, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  1. Remove the skin from the chicken pieces. Place the pieces in a large pan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain and cool.
  2. Mix together the tamarind water, curry paste, and salt. Thoroughly coat the
  3. cooled chicken, transfer to a non-metallic dish, cover, and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken over a medium heat until golden brown and heated through. Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve warm, garnished with scallions.
  5. Makes roughly 25 tablespoons (about 11/2 cups)
  6. Mix together with a mortar and pestle or with a blender until a paste forms.