Spicy Grilled Chicken a la Lombok

Origin: Lombok Island


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1 kg/2-2.2 lb ), washed
  • 100 ml oil
  • 1 pc lime or lemon, halve, use the juice

Spice for the paste

  • 12 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 3-5 pc small red chillies / bird chillies ( optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 10 pc shallots, chopped
  • 5 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pc tomato, chopped
  • 4 cm kencur (lesser Galangale) or 1 tsp kencur powder/dried kencur (optional)
  • 25 gr palm sugar
  • ¼ tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt

Spicy Grilled Chicken a la Lombok

Here it is, one of the culinary icons of Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province: Ayam Taliwang. My husband's favourite ever!!
This spicy chicken dish was originated from Karang Taliwang, Kelurahan Cakra Utara, Cakranegara District, Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). And what about the taste? It's HOT but DELICIOUS, especially for chilli fans 😉 But if you don't like it spicy, just take away the small chillies 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 Indonesian cuisine. My suggestion, use it only little at first 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. 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.
  • 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 50 ml oil in a wok or largish saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender). Stir fry the paste & stirring all the time until fragrant.
  • Adjust the heat into medium and continue to simmer for about 10 – 20 minutes until the paste becomes thick & oily. (Be careful with your hands when you fry it, because the spice sauce bubbles).
  • Meanwhile prepare the charcoal for Grilled Chicken, otherwise preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • 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. Put the chicken in a Pyrex glass or roasting pan then bake/roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over so the back side of the chicken is now facing you. Rub the remaining paste on it & bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice.
Keyword chicken, Indonesia, Lombok, red chili, spicy

popular Indonesian recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating