1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 red shallots, peeled, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped
4cm piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
4cm piece galangal, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp sea salt, plus extra
8 pieces chicken (bone-in thighs and drumsticks are my favourite)
1 cup cornflour (corn starch)
vegetable oil, for deep frying
Place the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 3 minutes or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and use a pestle to pound until a rough powder. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Use the same mortar and pestle to pound the shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass and salt to the mortar and pound to a rough paste. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the spices. Add the chicken and mix until well combined. If you have the time, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
Add the egg and cornflour to the chicken and mix to combine.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (325°F or 165°C or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles), cook the chicken in batches until golden and cooked through (about 15 minutes). Drain the pieces on a baking tray lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve. Try serving this as part of my Nasi Lemak recipe!