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Malaysian pickled chicken with roti jala

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Malaysian pickled chicken with roti jala.

By Alice Storey & Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus resting
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Malaysian pickled chicken with roti jala
The lacy roti jala is perfect with this more-ish curry. Use a mix of chicken pieces on the bone for variety.


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  • 1.2 kg chicken pieces on the bone
  • 10 dried small red chillies, or to taste, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 10 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 30 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 120 gm ghee
  • 375 ml chicken stock (1½ cups)
  • 80 ml white vinegar (1/3 cup)
  • 45 gm caster sugar
  • To serve: mint and coriander
Roti jala
  • 320 gm plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 400 ml thin coconut milk, well shaken
  • For brushing: melted ghee


  • 1
    Dry-roast coriander seeds until fragrant (1 minute), then grind with cloves, cumin seeds, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until finely ground. Combine with chicken pieces, add salt to taste, toss to coat well and set aside for flavours to develop (30 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, squeeze excess water from dried chillies and process in a small food processor or pound in a mortar and pestle with shallots, ginger, garlic and lemongrass to a paste.
  • 3
    Heat ghee in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat, add paste and stir-fry until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Add chicken and fry until browned all over (10-12 minutes). Add stock and simmer until chicken is cooked through (12-15 minutes). Add vinegar and sugar, season to taste, keep warm.
  • 4
    For roti jala, combine flour and salt to taste in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add eggs and coconut milk, and whisk to a thin batter (it should drizzle from the spoon; if it’s too thick, add a little extra coconut milk or cold water). Heat frying pan over medium-high heat and brush lightly with ghee. Dip your hand in the batter, then drizzle from your fingers into the pan to create a lace pattern (you could also use a squeeze bottle) and cook until just golden on the base (2-3 minutes). Turn and lightly cook the other side (30 seconds), then transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. When cool, fold roti in half. Serve with pickled chicken topped with mint and coriander.


Drink Suggestion: Heady white viognier. Drink suggestion by Max Allen