• Prep Time 40 minutes
  • Cook Time 40 minutes
  • Serving For 4 people
  • Difficulty Easy, Normal

Recipe Description

Samar chicken is a moderately spicy tomato-based dish popular among Malaysians originating from the Indian Muslim community. Try the recipe below!

To find out how our Food writer, Aida Ahmad learnt this recipe, read her story at Star Food.

Recipe Ingredient

  • 1/2 chicken, washed and cut into small pieces
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, pureed in mill attachment
  • 4 cloves garlic, pureed in mill attachment
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seed (kas-kas) powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp kurma powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cashew nut paste (soak 40gm cashew nuts in 2 tbsp water for 1/2 hour and puree in mill attachment)
  • For Cooking:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 2 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised to release fragrance
  • 3 cm ginger
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs coriander leaves, chopped
  • 6 sprigs mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup canned tomato soup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt to taste


  1. In a big bowl, coat chicken with marinade ingredients and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In a heavy based pot or wok, heat oil on medium heat. Add the pandan, bay leaves, lemongrass and spices and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add in chopped onions and mix until evenly cooked and onions are translucent.
  4. Add in chopped mint and coriander leaves and toss until everything is combined. Leave for five minutes.
  5. Add marinated chicken. Stir until well combined and leave on medium heat under lid until chicken is half cooked and sizzling for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add tomato soup and paste and mix well until chicken is evenly coated. Simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked. Serve with hot rice.

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