Recipe: Ayam betutu - Balinese grilled chicken

Ayam betutu is made of chicken with spices inside. The spices consist of turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, galangal, onion, garlic, cassava or salam leaves and chilies. All these spices are mixed and put inside the chicken. That is why it is called Ayam Betutu. Ayam Betutu is usually served in Balinese traditional ceremonies such as Odalan, Otonan, wedding ceremony, etc.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
Ready in: 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 100g (3½ oz) young cassava leaves, boiled until tender, cut into serving pieces
  • 1½ kg (3½ lb) chicken
  • banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping spices (ground)
  • 7 red chilies
  • 5 bird's eye chilies
  • 5 candlenuts, roasted
  • 10 shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, roasted
  • 1½ tablespoons sliced lemon grass
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • tablespoon chopped galangal
  • ½ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons chopped turmeric
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped kencur (lesser galangal)
  • salt and sugar 


  1. Heat oil and sauté the ground spices until fragrant and dry. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Divide 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.
  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.


Note : Another way to cook the chicken is to steam it for about 45 minutes before grilling in the oven for 1 hour.


Betutu is a special dish from Bali. Usually the Balinese use duck wrapped in banana leaves, and wrapped again with stalks of palm leaves.

The duck is then buried in the ground and covered with hot charcoal for 6-7 hours until cooked.

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