Balinese Roasted Chicken

Origin: Bali

5 from 1 vote


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1.5 kg/3.3 lb)
  • 250 gr cassava leaves (use coy sum & curly kale as subtitutes), washed
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 60-80 gr banana leaves to wrap in
  • aluminium foil

Spice for the paste

  • 7 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 10 pc shalllots, chopped
  • 4 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cm lesser galangale
  • 2 cm galangale, chopped
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 cm stick of cinnamon or 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 tbsp tamarind water (1 tsp tamarind pulp soak in 3 tbsp water)
  • 5 cm stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar if prefferd

Balinese Roasted Chicken

Here's one of our family's favorite dishes: Ayam Bumbu Betutu.
This dish is one of most popular dishes which originated from the Balinese ethnic group, and is now commonly served throughout Indonesian archipelago even in foreign countries.
Europeans call it: Balinese Chicken. A complete blend of spices with a distinctive aroma of banana leaves….. hhhhhm It tastes really superb & delicious.
Although it takes a long journey & a little patience to make this exotic dish, it's a worth trying for !!!! Have I convinced you ??;-))
Anyway I have a little note that might be useful to prepare this recipe. For those of you who feel that the whole chicken is too much, you can change the amount of chicken as well as the part of chicken pieces as preferred. Just spread the stuffing leaves over the chicken pieces. I assure you, the taste won't be different!
Another thing, since the cassava leaves is hard to obtain in western countries, please take a coy sum or curly kale as a subtitute. Last but not least if banana leaves is also not available then use aluminium foil only to wrap it.


  • Cut chicken in half lengthwise along breastbone (do not cut through backbone). Set aside.
  • Blanch the cassava/ curly kale leaves, set to drain and shred. If you use coysum as a substitute, skip the blanching process otherwise the leaves will be overcooked.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or largish saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender). Stir fry the paste untill fragrant. Stirring often.
  • Remove the paste into a bowl and adjust the seasoning. Add the salt & sugar if necessary. Let it cool.
  • Divide the spice paste into two portions. Mix a half of it with the shredded leaves in a bowl.
  • Rub the remaining paste all over the chicken evenly. Stuff the shredded leaves, salam & kaffir lime leaves into the chicken. Sew the cut with a tread.
  • Wrap the chicken with banana leaves then wrap again with aluminium foil.
  • Leave the chicken in the fridge overnight to get it marinated thoroughly.
  • Steam the chicken over boiled water for 1 hour.
  • Roast in a pre-heated oven ( 200°C) for another 1 hour.
  • Serve hot with rice, salad and sambal matah (if you like it hot!!).

Serving Method

  • Unwrap the parcel and place the whole chicken onto a large serving dish. Remove the tread & cut in pieces if preferred.
  • Save the remaining cooking juices if any (which stick on banana leaves) in a small saucepan and reheat before serving.
Keyword Balinese, chicken, grilled, Indonesia, roasted

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