xxxx xxxx

Ayam Betutu: Balinese Slow-Cooked Chicken in Banana Leaf

In the heart of the Indonesian archipelago lies the island of Bali, a tropical paradise adorned with lush landscapes, ancient temples, and vibrant traditions. But its charm extends beyond its visual allure. The island is a gastronomic haven, renowned for its distinctive, flavorful dishes. Among these culinary masterpieces is Ayam Betutu, a Balinese slow-cooked chicken wrapped in banana leaf. This dish is a symphony of flavors, where the succulence of the chicken marries beautifully with the boldness and complexity of the spices. Every bite is a celebration of Bali’s rich culture and the islanders’ deep-rooted respect for nature’s bounty.

Ayam Betutu: Balinese Slow-Cooked Chicken in Banana Leaf


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
  • 2 turmeric leaves (optional)
  • 2 banana leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • For the spice paste:
    • 10 shallots
    • 6 cloves of garlic
    • 5 red chillies
    • 5 bird’s eye chillies
    • 5 candlenuts
    • 2 inches of ginger
    • 2 inches of galangal
    • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste
    • Salt to taste

Cooking Steps

  • First, prepare the spice paste by grinding all the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan and sauté the spice paste until it’s fragrant.
  • Stuff the chicken with the sautéed spice paste, the bruised lemongrass stalks, and turmeric leaves.
  • Wrap the chicken tightly in banana leaves and secure it with a string.
  • Slow-cook the wrapped chicken in a preheated oven at 160°C (320°F) for about 3 hours or until it’s fully cooked and tender.
  • Unwrap the chicken and serve it with steamed rice and sambal.

In conclusion, Ayam Betutu is a rich, flavorful dish that embodies Bali’s culinary heritage. The slow-cooking process allows the flavors to fully permeate the chicken, resulting in a tender, succulent dish that’s bursting with flavor. When preparing Ayam Betutu, it’s essential to use fresh ingredients, as they’re the soul of the dish. Freshly ground spices and herbs, for instance, lend a much more vibrant flavor than their pre-packaged counterparts. Furthermore, using a free-range chicken can significantly enhance the taste of the dish, as it tends to have a firmer texture and a more robust flavor. Finally, never underestimate the power of banana leaves. Not only do they provide a natural, biodegradable wrapping, but they also contribute a subtle, unique flavor to the dish. So take your time, enjoy the process, and let every bite take you on a culinary journey to the heart of Bali.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *