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Gluten Free Kari Ayam and Chickpea Pasta

Serves 6

Gluten Free pasta is not always… ahem… the best pasta. In fact, it’s a struggle to get my wife to even contemplate eating it despite the fact normal pasta hurts her stomach and gives her eczema. As my reaction to gluten is far more severe and I really don’t have a choice in the matter I am much more open to trying new versions.

The kind people at Evexia Thrive sent me some of their filled and unfilled pasta and after I created this recipe using their chickpea fusilli guess who was begging for some?! Oh yes, after trying this she has been fully converted.

Pride. So much pride.

Kari Ayam is the Malaysian word for ‘chicken curry’- and it sounds so much fancier. The dish is made using the bony parts of the chicken: ribs, wings, thighs and legs, these are then marinated in a ground blend of spices, chillies, ginger, garlic, candlenuts, lemon grass, shallots and belachan. Since my food has to be Low FODMAP, I’ve excluded the garlic and shallots but have used garlic flavoured oil and spring onion greens in their place. Candlenuts are also exceptionally hard to find in the UK at a price that doesn’t make me feel ill (if you have a good lead, let me know!) so I’ve used macadamia nuts in their place.

The chickpea fusilli is made with only chickpeas and water so is suitable for those with a gluten, egg or dairy intolerance and even vegans! It has a wonderful nutty flavour that really adds to this dish. I love this recipe and I’ll definitely be serving it at my next dinner party.

… once I’ve warned my guests they’ll be getting their fingers messy!

No ‘dry clean only’ clothes please.

Chickpea PastaIngredients


Spice Paste:
1 bunch of spring onions, green tops only
6 fresh red chillies, seeds separated
8 macadamia nuts
2 inch ginger
2 shoots lemongrass, roughly chopped
20g belachan

1.5kg chicken, bony parts (thighs, legs, wings)
600ml chicken stock
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces star anise
4 pieces cloves
6 pieces green cardamom
6 curry leaves
1tbsp fish sauce
1tsp brown sugar replacement (Sukrin do a good one!)
3tbsp garlic flavoured oil

· Combine all spice paste ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste
· Cover spice paste and leave to mature overnight
· In a large bowl combine the spice paste and chicken then allow to marinate for half an hour.
· Heat the garlic oil in a large wok then sauté the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, cardamom and curry leaves.
· Add the marinated chicken together with the rest of the spice paste and fry on a low heat.
· Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil
· Lower the heat, cover the wok then simmer for 40 minutes
· Add coconut milk, cover and simmer for 20 more minutes
· Season with fish sauce and brown sugar.
· Cook the pasta (careful- it only takes 3 mins!)
· Serve with watercress and sliced spring onion greens

Chickpea Pasta


Candlenuts are the authentic Malaysian thickener for spice pastes but macadamia nuts match their high oil content although they don’t have the bitter and slightly soapy aftertaste… that last part might sell you even more on the macadamia nuts but I promise the soapiness is weirdly nice.

If you’re not a fan of bones then you could use chicken breasts but you’ll really be missing out on the deep umami of the bony broth.

You will probably need to open your kitchen window when cooking this- it’s very fragrant and the chillies will get in your nose! Excellent if you have a cold!

One Comment

  1. Hi Jessica. Just read your review on Kari Ayam. Seems very delicious. But as I can remember, my mother, a Malaysian (half Chinese half Peranakan) doesn’t use candlenuts at all. The oil content is too high. She used Dal (a type of Indian lentil pea) that also thickens but minus the oily part. Malaysian Chinese also put uses potatoes as a thickening agent. Others put corn flour or sweet potatoes flour. Perhaps you can try. That’s it.

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