12 banana leaves to wrap the parcels
For the pulut kuning (turmeric glutinous rice):
500g glutinous rice, or sticky rice
1 slice dried tamarind (asam keeping)
30g fresh turmeric, pounded, put into a muslin bag
500ml thick coconut milk, mixed with 1 tsp salt and ½ tbsp sugar
2 – 3 fresh pandan leaves, tied into a knot
For the sambal ikan bilis (spicy anchovies):
100g dried ikan bilis (dried anchovies), medium size
2 big brown onions, sliced
2 tbsp tamarind paste
30g gula melaka (palm sugar)
Salt, to taste
For the spice paste:
10 dried red chilies
10 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped,
1 bulb garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
10g belacan (fermented shrimp paste) lightly toasted
4 tbsp cooking oil
For the chicken serunding (shredded coconut chicken)
2kg chicken breast fillet, skinless and boneless
1L coconut milk
8 – 10 dried chilies
20g fresh turmeric
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp fennel seeds
4 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
50g gula melaka (palm sugar)
2 slices of dried tamarind, about 5g
Salt, to taste
4 tbsp cooking oil
Wash the glutinous rice a few times until the water runs clear. Drain off excess water.
Place the washed glutinous rice in a big pot and add enough water to cover the glutinous rice.
Take the muslin bag with turmeric and squeeze out the turmeric juice with your hands. Pour the juice into the pot.
To the pot, add the dried tamarind.
Soak the glutinous rice overnight.
After soaking the glutinous rice overnight, steam it in a steamer for about 20 min or until the rice is cooked.
After steaming, pour the rice into a heatproof dish or casserole. Add in 250ml (or about half) of the coconut milk.
Mix thoroughly to ensure the rice is evenly coated.
Pour the rice back into the steamer and steam for another 15 – 20 mins.
After steaming, pour the rice into your heatproof dish or casserole. Add in the rest of the flavored coconut milk, about 250ml.
Mix well to combine.
Steam the rice in your steamer for another 10 mins.
After this, your pulut kuning is done. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely before serving.
In a blender, blend the dried red chilies, shallots, garlic and toasted belacan. Blend until smooth and set the spice paste aside.
Heat up 4 tbsp cooking oil in a wok or pan on medium heat, and fry the dried ikan bilis until they are lightly browned. Remove the ikan bilis from heat and set aside, keeping the oil in the wok.
Using the same wok, sauté the blended spice paste until fragrant.
Add the sliced big brown onions to the pan, fry them until they soften slightly.
To the pan, add in 500ml water and simmer until the sliced onions are completely soft and fully cooked.
Add the tamarind juice, gula melaka and salt to taste. Mix well to combine.
Add the fried anchovies to the pan. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens and oil separates. Remove from heat and set aside.
You may substitute fresh pandan leaves with 1 teaspoon of pandan essence.
In a pot of boiling water, boil the chicken breast meat until it is fully cooked.
Once cooked, remove from the boiling water and allow it to cool slightly.
While waiting for the chicken to cool, blend the dried chilies, fresh turmeric, cumin and fennel seeds in a blender. Blend until you achieve a fine paste.
After the chicken has cooled slightly, shred the chicken meat and set aside.
Heat up 4 tbsp cooking oil in a wok or pan on medium heat.
Sauté the blended spice paste in the pan until fragrant.
Once fragrant, add the sliced lemongrass and coconut milk. Simmer on low heat until the oil separates.
To the pan, add the shredded chicken. Mix well. Then add the gula melaka and dried tamarind slices.
Keep stirring until the chicken serunding dries up. Once the moisture has evaporated and it has turned brown, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Clean and wipe dry the banana leaves.
Cut the banana leaves into 7 inch by 6 inch pieces.
Over the stove on medium heat, warm each banana leaf piece. This softens them and enhances the flavor of the pulut kuning.
Once warmed, take a piece of banana leaf and place it on a clean surface.
Place 3 tablespoons of pulut kuning on the banana leaf.
Top the pulut kuning with a tablespoon of sambal ikan bilis and chicken serunding.
To wrap the parcel, bring the long edges of the banana leaf to meet in the center to form a pyramid shape.
Make sure one edge overlaps the other slightly at the bottom of the pyramid.
Criss-cross the banana leaf flaps in the center, and fold the shorter edge into the longer one. Your parcel is now ready to serve!
. You may serve the dish on a cleaned turmeric leaf or omit the leaves altogether and serve the dish on plates.
The chicken serunding can last 6 months in the fridge and won’t turn mouldy if cooked until brown and the moisture has completely evaporated. The shallots in the serunding act as a preservative.
As the chicken serunding takes some time to make, I usually double the amount for this recipe to have extra to keep. You can use the chicken serunding in sandwiches or in lettuce wraps.