Balinese Betutu Chicken (Ayam Betutu) Recipe

Those who have visited Bali must be familiar with this dish. This is one of most popular dishes there. Ayam betutu is usually served in Balinese traditional ceremonies such as Odalan, Otonan, wedding ceremony, etc.

Ayam betutu is made of chicken with spices inside. All the spices are mixed and put inside the chicken. By wrapping the chicken in banana leaves, the moisture is kept in and the meat doesn’t dry out. This dish is a real treat.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 bay leaves
  • enough banana leaves to wrap the chicken

100g cassava leaves, boiled until tender, cut into serving pieces

Grind the following into spice paste:
  • 8 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of kencur (kaempferia galangal)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of turmeric
  • 5 red chilies
  • 3 bird’s eye chilies
  • 2 candlenuts, roasted
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and sugar to taste


  1. Cut chicken in half lengthwise along breastbone (do not cut through backbone). Set aside.
  2. Divide the paste into 2 parts. Combine 1 part with cassava leaves. Stuff the mixture into the chicken and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Rub the chicken with the remaining ground spices and add the bay leaves.
  4. Wrap the chicken with banana leaves and tie with a string.
  5. Grill in the oven at medium heat (180°C - 350°F) for 2-3 hours or until cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and cut before serving.
  7. Serve it with steam rice and sambal matah.

Cooking Tips:
  1. If the cassava leaves is hard to obtain, you may take a coy sum or curly kale as a substitute.
  2. Use aluminum foil to wrap the chicken if you don’t have access to banana leaves.
  3. Another way to cook the chicken is to steam it for about 45 minutes before grilling it in the oven for 1 hour.


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