Bali’s Chicken Betutu originates from the Balinese language, consisting of two syllables, ‘be’ and ‘tunu’. ‘Be’ means meat, while ‘tunu’ is to burn. Therefore, betutu signifies roasted meat. Betutu dish is typically made with chicken or duck. However, more people tend to use chicken as the main ingredient due to its availability and popularity.
This signature Balinese chicken dish, Betutu, is not only famous in Bali but has spread to various cities across Indonesia. It has even become a favorite among foreign tourists visiting Bali. Its distinctive taste and the aroma of its spices will leave you constantly longing for the delectable flavors of this cuisine.
The Origin of Balinese Chicken Betutu Recipe
In the 16th century, during the Majapahit kingdom era, Islam had just entered the region of Java Island. Consequently, a majority of the Majapahit people, who predominantly practiced Hinduism, migrated to Bali. It was from the Majapahit culture that the culinary tradition of Chicken Betutu originated and eventually became extremely famous.
The first person to prepare Chicken Betutu was Ni Wayan Tempeh or Men Tempeh, originating from the Abiansi region in Gianyar city. Men Tempeh started making Chicken Betutu dishes in 1976. Initially, this cuisine was served during religious ceremonies and traditional events, such as otonan (coming of age ceremony), weddings, and odalan (temple anniversaries). Later, alongside her husband, she established a small eatery selling Chicken Betutu.
In the past, the preparation involved stuffing the chicken’s cavity with Bali’s signature spice blend called ‘base genep.’ The chicken was then wrapped in betel leaves and roasted over rice husk fire for 8 to 10 hours. However, with changing times, modern cooking methods like ovens are now used for chicken Betutu preparation.
Chicken Betutu is known for its distinctive spicy taste, rich spices, and intense aroma. It’s typically served with sambal matah, peanuts, and vegetables. Additionally, Betutu chicken is rich in nutrients, containing approximately 60.87% water content, 1.84% ash content, 14.69% fat content, and 21.33% carbohydrate content. If you’re visiting Bali, don’t miss out on this culinary delight!