Ayam Percik: A Famous Grilled Chicken Dish of Kelantan
Ayam Percik, a renowned grilled chicken dish originating from the picturesque state of Kelantan in Northeastern Peninsular Malaysia, has captured the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike. Combining the rich flavours of coconut with the irresistible aroma of charcoal grilling, this dish is a true culinary gem.
“Ayam” translates to chicken in Bahasa Malaysia, while “percik” refers to the act of splashing or basting a special coconut sauce onto the chicken during grilling. Traditionally cooked over charcoal, the chicken absorbs the fragrant coconut essence and acquires a delightful smoky taste.
Today, Ayam Percik has gained popularity across Malaysia, with various versions and adaptations of its recipe. The dish is primarily divided into two main variations: putih (white) and merah (red). The red version incorporates the addition of chilli powder or paste and turmeric into the grilling sauce, providing a fiery kick to cater to Malaysians’ love for spicy food.
The highlight of this dish lies in the special coconut sauce, created by simmering coconut milk with a blend of aromatic ingredients and spices. Lemongrass, ginger, shallots, galangal, garlic, and tamarind form the base of the sauce, while the spicier variant includes chilli and turmeric. The resulting thick, creamy, and flavoursome coconut sauce is generously slathered on the chicken during grilling and serving.
Ayam Percik is traditionally enjoyed with rice for lunch or dinner, allowing the flavours to meld together beautifully. It can also be served on skewers as a delectable snack. Particularly during the fasting month of Ramadan, Ayam Percik holds a special place at food bazaars. The aromatic air is filled with the sweet scent and smoky ambiance of vendors grilling this mouthwatering delight.
Ayam Percik, with its tantalising blend of coconut and spices, is a testament to the culinary wonders of Kelantan. The art of basting the chicken with the rich coconut sauce and grilling it to perfection creates a symphony of flavours that will leave you craving for more. Whether enjoyed as a hearty meal or as a snack on skewers, Ayam Percik holds a cherished place in Malaysian cuisine. Experience the magic of this grilled delight and immerse yourself in the aromatic essence of Kelantan’s culinary heritage.