Roses are red…

…and so should our Malaysian favourite, ayam masak merah, be – red! Unfortunately, when I tried cooking it that day, it did not turn out the way it should – it  was not really red, not at all…

Ayam masak merah 1

Well, it all started when Melissa’s colleague invited her over to her quarters for dinner and she cooked this particular dish. Melissa loved it so much and praised it to the skies. Later, she found out that her colleague just used one of those stuff that comes in packets, this particular brand, to be exact…

AMM ingredients

I quickly grabbed one to try and I added some ingredients of my own – one Bombay onion, finely chopped, two stalks of serai (lemon grass) bruised, a sprig of curry leaves and a spoonful of my missus’ pounded chili.

I fried the Bombay onions in a bit of oil till the fragrance came out and then I threw in the serai, curry leaves and pounded chili…

AMM step 1

…before I poured in the ingredients in the packet, diluted in half a cup of water…

AMM step 2

…and brought in to boil before I put in the chicken, cut into bite-size chunks…

AMM step 3

… after which, I let it simmer until the sauce had gone into the chicken and had thickened and reached the desired consistency.

Then I dished it all out…

Ayam masak merah 2

…and served.

Yes, it was very nice. I loved the taste very much and I sure would want to use the pre-packed ingredients again. Other than it being really yummy, it was so very easy to cook but unfortunately, it was not really the colour that I had expected. When I asked Melissa again, only then did  she tell me that her colleague had added tomato sauce and hers was very red all right. Sigh!!! Actually, I was so tempted to do just that but I was afraid that it might adversely affect the taste in the end.

Never mind! At least, we enjoyed eating it and for another, there will always be another time – and I’ll make sure I’ll get it right then, you can take my word for it!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

25 thoughts on “Roses are red…”

  1. Red or not will be just the color, its the taste that matters no? 😛

    But the name says red… 😦 Maybe I should just call it ayam berlada, spicy chicken – looks more like it.

  2. Hmm, sometimes those pre-packed ingredients can really do wonder right!

    Yes, indeed. I never cook curry from scratch ever since I found one that is so so so good, save me all that trouble.

  3. That little packet really does wonder. Between ayam masak merah & hitam, I still prefer hitam. Maybe will get a packet to try since it is so easy and who knows I might fell in love with it. Weekend is here again. Have a great one.

    Nice to have something different for a change. Hitam, I can buy from a roadside stall in the kampung – very nice and the guy’s very friendly and generous , always gives a lot. So no need to go through the hassle of cooking my own. You too, enjoy your weekend.

  4. Hmm, so the secret was tomato sauce, eh? Red or not, tomato sauce or not, janji sedap la.. And you cooked from your heart for Mel, sure sapu habis licin, yummeehh… I also like to use pre-packed sauces, but not always.. Usually pre-packed sauces to fry noodles, black pepper sauces, to be exact.. Memang sedap if used to cook udon or marinade in meats..

    Once in a while, moderation is the key. These packet things a lot of preservatives…so do not use ALL the time.

  5. Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I have a friend
    My friend is you


    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Boys are born handsome
    What happened to you?

  6. When I retire, i want to start cooking again.. just wait and see.. that time you will see a lot of kampua noodles, ayam masak merah or kuning, fried rice with different styles.. and so on.. hahaha….
    Yes, I think the redness will come from the tomato sauce, normally Malays like to put the sauce in for the sweetness too..

    Yes, and they have their tomato rice too. Melissa can cook that – also very nice. Looking forward to your retirement – can wait to see what recipes you will share. Hehehehehe!!!!

  7. Is okay la, just the color doesn’t match your expectation, but as long as it taste nice then is fine already!!!

    Exactly! What’s in a name? A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. 😉

  8. I can smell it from here. hehe. Yeah normally we add tomato sauce to add in the colour. But this one looks good though… 🙂

    It was good. Adding the tomato sauce will give it the colour and I think the taste will change too – it will have that sweet and sour taste of the sauce.

  9. looks easy enough. No need to blend things.

    am lazy to blend

    Me too. I don’t blend – I pound…which makes it worse, so much work. 😦

  10. Colour is not important, as long it taste nice, that is matter. Yes, I heard you add tomato sauce to make it red.

    when first read your title, I thought you were writing about me or the flower in your garden. Aduh, perasan me! Lol.

    Hahahahaha!!!! I wrote about you before…more than once. 😉 Will try again, still have one packet.

  11. I see my mom cooks ayam masak merah, she will fry the chicken first. Yes… she did add tomato sauce in it too.

    Yes, that’s supposed to be the first step but I did not want to do it – don’t want the added oil in deep frying. The Chinese chu-char places will do that for everything – I see them coating the meat with cornflour and then deep frying. They say it will seal the juices in, tastier…but best eaten immediately. After sometime, will turn soggy owing the the sauce.

  12. Ooohhhh…I love Ayam Masak Merah especially with nasi minyak! So that packet thing is good, eh? I have been wanting too cook this dish but was too lazy to prepare the ingredients.

    Yes, I love it! Will surely use it again when I feel like eating this.

  13. the taste would definitely be different if add on tomato sauce right? argghh.. i would wanna try this plate of chicken first before i try the add on with tomato sauce.. hahaha..

    I think with the tomato sauce it will be more like masak merah…but even without, I find it is already nice enough. I wouldn’t mind using this again.

  14. With those packed ready ingredient, cooking is so much easier. haha….. Usually, my mum will deep fried the chicken seasoned with turmeric powder first before cooking the sauce to pour over. The chicken taste better.

    Ya, see my reply to thammelissa – the Malays marinate their chicken and fish with tumeric (powder) for deep frying – very nice just like that without any sauce. I am not into deep frying so much unless I don’t have a choice – trying to cut down on oil…and also salt and msg.

  15. Hahaha! Yes, i have the same thinking like your reader, Rose. Thought, you were write about her.

    I love ayam masak merah, this look easy, maybe i should try that out.

    LOL!!! There is another Rose but she calls herself ahlost… 😉 Ya, it was so very easy to cook. Gonna try something else with the other packet I bought one of these days.

  16. oooo, what a coincidence, i had ayam masak merah this week, for the first time in possibly years (it’s not something i order often). your version looks mouthwatering 🙂

    Thanks, but I’m sure yours was the real thing and tasted like one too. Need to work on mine, will try again.

  17. Interesting!

    I know the ones over there at the roadside shops are VERY BRIGHT RED so I wonder if they use food coloring or something like that.

    I know some do not just use tomato sauce – they use tomato puree. Dunno if that’s what makes them so red.

    1. Yeah, I think you’re right,..and the chilli covers up the tomato puree taste so it’s all heat, at least the one over here.

      They’ve very nice masak merah at the roadside foodstall at Bandong here but ya, it is quite spicy as well. I usually buy their masak hitam or ayam belada though. Very nice too.

  18. It looks more like curry chicken to me. O.o

    Not exactly. More like ayam belada, an Indonesian curry dish. They sell that here at a roadside stall in the kampung, very nice.

  19. Yummy! Not tried the instant mixes before. Maybe I should just give it a try.

    This is good. Just found another one that’s really good too. Will blog about it soon…and will try to use it for something else, so very nice!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: