Grilled Chicken with Spicy Sambal – Lomboknese Style

Origin: Lombok Island


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1 kg – 1.5 Kg /2- 3 lb ), washed
  • 100 ml oil
  • 1 pc lime or lemon, halved, use the juice

Spice for the paste

  • 15 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 5-15 small red chillies / bird chillies (optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 6 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pc tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or sugar
  • ½ tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi
  • 2 tsp salt

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Sambal – Lomboknese Style

Here it is, one of the famous dishes from Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province: Pelecing Ayam. Pelecing is a name for any dishes which prepared and served with spicy sambal, indonesian term for spicy sauce/relish.
There are two well known Pelecing: with water spinach, called Pelecing Kangkung and with chicken called Pelecing Ayam.
At a glance this dish is similar to Ayam Taliwang, but it's little bit difference. Pelecing Ayam has a simplier spices, basically it need only chilies, garlic and shrimp paste/terasi.
It's simple but SPICY and DELICIOUS, especially for chili fans 😉 But if you don't like it spicy, just take away the small chilies from the list. Don't worry….It still taste best!!
Important Note: I should warn you that dried shrimp paste smells quite awful especially for Europeans, but the taste in finished dish (if required) is greatfully aromatic and essential to the authenticity of this dish. My suggestion, use it only little as I write in this recipe. It is less than in my Indonesian version.


  • Cut chicken in half lengthwise along breastbone, leave the backbone uncut. Wash and pat dry with kitchen towel/paper.
  • Turn over the chicken and by using the palm of your hand, press down on the center of the backbone until you hear a crack and the chicken is flattened.
  • Prepare and peel off all ingredients for the paste : Chillies, garlic & tomatoes. Cut in smaller pieces if necessary
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessary add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 50 ml oil in a wok or largish saucepan. (Add little bit oil if already added in a blender). Saute the paste & stir all the time until fragrant.
  • Adjust the heat into medium and continue to simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the paste becomes thick & well cooked. (Be careful with your hands because the sauce bubbles).
  • Meanwhile prepare the charcoal for Grilled chicken, otherwise preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F. Prepare roasting pan, put an aluminium foil if preferred and lightly grease with small amount of butter/margarine.
  • Add shrimp paste and stir to mix.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add lime juice & mix well. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary add salt or sugar to taste.
  • Coat the breast side of the chicken with half amount of the paste.
  • Bake/roast the chicken for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Chicken is golden brown.
  • Turn the chicken over so the back side of the chicken is now facing you. Pierce the surface a few times with a fork to allow the sauce being absorbed and improve the taste.
  • Rub/coat the back side of the chicken with the remaining paste.
  • Bake/roast for another 25-30 minutes until the chicken is done and well cooked.
  • Serve Your Gilled Chicken hot with rice, cucumber, and Pelecing Kangkung or blanched cassava/savoy leaves.
Keyword baked chicken, Indonesian, Lombok, sambal

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