Selvi's irresistible spiced chicken nasi lemak


A plate of nasi lemak ayam goreng berempah.

MENTION nasi lemak, and my head is filled with the vision of rice soaked in coconut milk, pandan leaves and sambal ikan bilis. Yummy.

A traditional Malay dish, the nasi lemak has today sprouted 101 varieties and become a truly Malaysian dish as people from all races embraced it, stamped their mark on it and created their own versions of it.

Nasi lemak stalls can be found in practically every corner of the Klang Valley. One tiny nasi lemak stall in a huge Chinese restaurant caught my attention one day as I was driving home from work.

It's the only Indian stall at Restoran Chee Lok, and as I had been craving nasi lemak for days, I was dying to try out the version here.

(Above) The side dishes one can enjoy with the nasi lemak include (clockwise, top left) ayam masak lemak, mutton curry, sambal sotong and sambal kerang.
The side dishes one can enjoy with the nasi lemak include (clockwise, top left) ayam masak lemak, mutton curry, sambal sotong and sambal kerang.

It was the only Indian stall at Restoran Chee Lok, so I was dying to try out the nasi lemak since I had been craving it for days.

Selvi Sevasamy, 42, has been selling her nasi lemak ayam berempah in Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang for almost nine years now.

She has moved from place to place around the area, from a roadside stall to finally renting a stall in Restoran Chee Lok for eight months now.

“This is my only job, and I do it full-time to earn a living,” Selvi said.

Occasionally, Selvi’s husband, Harvinder Singh, 47, helps serve customers before leaving for work at night.

The stall opens from 3pm to 10pm.

The stall’s strategic location, which happens to be near the main road, helps catch drivers’ attention as they return home from work.

“I think what’s so special about my nasi lemak stall is the ayam goreng berempah.

Selvi has been selling nasi lemak ayam berempah in Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang for almost nine years now.
Selvi has been selling nasi lemak ayam berempah in Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang for almost nine years now.

“Customers say the ayam goreng berempah is more flavourful than many others they have tried,” she added.

Selvi starts cooking at 3pm and finishes before 4pm.

The majority of her customers are Chinese as well as some Malay customers who have known her for many years.

She added that she cooked the rice the normal way with the regular ingredients, but the fried chicken was her own recipe that she perfected through trial and error.

Apart from the rice and fried chicken, Selvi’s nasi lemak serving comes with hard boiled egg, cucumber slices, fried ikan bilis, roasted peanuts and sambal.

Other options available include fried egg, sambal kerang (cockles), sambal sotong (squid), mutton curry and ayam masak lemak.

When I first took a spoonful of the rice with the fried chicken, I knew I was in love.

The chicken tasted simply exceptional, especially when it is still warm, with all the flavours of the spices in my mouth.

The sambal was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

The portion of rice is a lot for just RM6.50, with no extra charges if you want to tapau (pack) and eat at home.

I need to highlight the ayam masak lemak for its unique taste. It is not like other recipes where the masak lemak taste is evident in the dish. Selvi’s ayam masak lemak has a mixture of rendang and curry ingredients, which is different and a must-try.

“Nasi lemak is a dish that can be enjoyed by people of any race.

“To make the experience an unforgettable one for my customers, I make sure the nasi lemak that I provide is of quality,” she said.

Although her stall does not have an official name yet, it is known as Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah.

Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah is located in Restoran Chee Lok, Jalan PBS 14/8, Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

It is open from Tuesday to Sunday and closed on Monday. It opens on public holidays as well.

For details, call 016-367 5605. (Selvi).

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