Manado, Ayam Garo Rica, Chili and Lemon Basil Chicken
Longing to make this Ayam Garo Rica for so long! Ayam Garo Rica (Manadonese Chili and Lemon Basil Chicken). In the local dialect, Garo means stir fry and Rica means chili pepper.
All I had to do was being patience until my red long cayenne pepper grown more. Yes… I was yielding long red cayenne pepper, lemon basil and turmeric leaves from the pots before they get hit by the cold weather.
The long red cayenne pepper is very useful for Indonesian cooking. To the best of my knowledge, there are two variants of long cayenne pepper that we use in Indonesia. One is cabai merah keriting (curly red); the fruit has a smaller diameter compare to the other one, cabai merah besar (big red). The curly one is slimmer, dense and has a wavy shape. In term of taste, curly red cayenne pepper is more spicy than the big red ones. In this recipe, I used the curly type.
I was messaging Ellen back forward whom native to North Sulawesi and lives in England to get more knowledge about her Manadonese or Minahasan specialty food. This is what I quoted from one of her posting.
“Manadonese or Minahasan almost never use coriander, cumin and kaempferia galangal (or kencur) in food. The basic spices that we call “bumbu” mainly use garlic, shallot, a bit turmeric, lots of ginger, lots of lemon grass, lemon basil, tomato, tons of chillies, pandan leaf, mint leaf, daun tebal (Cuban oregano – Coleus Amboinicus. Lour) similar to thyme or oregano, kaffir lime leaf, cloves, nutmeg, mace and white peppercorn.”
I found out also that Manadonese food applies many kind of leafy ingredients that I have never known before. For example:
– Daun Gedi
– Daun Leilem
– Daun Pangi
– Daun Nasi
– Daun Tebal
– Daun Werot
Woooo, what a long list for leaf seasonings. Let’s move on to the recipe.
Ayam Garo Rica
Spices to be ground:
2. At medium-high, heat oil in a wok. Stir fry ground spices until fragrant.
3. Add chicken, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, panda leaves, and turmeric leaves; stir well.
4. Reduce to low heat, place the lid on and let chicken simmer until tender and cook through
5. Open the lid and continue simmering. Add sea salt and sugar to season, taste.
6. Add lemon basil and green onion, cook until the mixture is slightly thicken.
7. Remove from heat, drizzle 3 calamansis over and mix well.
Serve with steamed rice.