The Traditional Indonesian Dish of Betutu: Ingredients, Cooking Process, and Serving Suggestions

Betutu is a traditional Indonesian dish, particularly popular in Bali. It is typically made with chicken or duck, which is marinated in a blend of spices and seasonings, including shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and chilies, among others. The marinated meat is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or baked until it is tender and flavorful.

Betutu is often served with steamed rice and a variety of side dishes, such as boiled vegetables, sambal (a spicy chili sauce), and lawar (a traditional Balinese vegetable and coconut salad). The dish has a rich and complex flavor profile, with a combination of spicy, savory, and slightly sweet notes. It is considered a staple of Balinese cuisine and is often served during special occasions and celebrations.


Here are some additional facts about this traditional Indonesian dish:

  • The word "betutu" comes from the Balinese language, where it refers to the process of cooking food in banana leaves. The dish is sometimes called "ayam betutu" or "bebek betutu" to indicate that it is made with chicken or duck, respectively.
  • The spice paste used to marinate the meat for betutu typically includes a blend of shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, and chili peppers. Sometimes other ingredients, such as shrimp paste or tamarind, are also added for additional depth of flavor.
  • The marinated meat is usually wrapped in banana leaves and then wrapped again in foil to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out during cooking. It is typically cooked slowly over low heat, either by steaming or baking in a wood-fired oven. The cooking process can take several hours to ensure that the meat is cooked through and infused with all the flavors of the spice paste.
  • In Bali, betutu is often served as part of a traditional ceremonial feast, such as a wedding or a temple ceremony. It is also a popular dish for tourists to try when visiting the island.
  • Although chicken and duck are the most common meats used for betutu, it is also possible to make it with other proteins, such as fish or beef. Vegetarian versions can also be made using tofu or tempeh as the main ingredient.
  • In addition to the side dishes mentioned earlier, betutu is often served with a type of rice called "nasi campur" or mixed rice. This is a platter of rice accompanied by small portions of various vegetable and meat dishes, including betutu. This allows diners to try a variety of different flavors and textures in one meal.

Average Price of Betutu

The price of Betutu can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the type of meat used, and the level of expertise of the chef or restaurant. In Bali, where Betutu is a popular dish, the average price for a serving of chicken or duck Betutu can range from IDR 30,000 to IDR 100,000 (approximately USD 2 to USD 7).

However, in high-end restaurants or hotels, the price may be significantly higher. Additionally, the price of Betutu may be lower in smaller, local restaurants or warungs (food stalls) that cater more to locals than tourists. Ultimately, the price of Betutu can vary widely, so it's always a good idea to check the menu or ask the restaurant staff for the price before ordering.

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