Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)
December 02nd, 2011 19 Comments

Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)

Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)
Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah) pictures (1 of 4)

As you might have guessed, my favorite region in the whole world is Asia. And of all Asia, my favorite island is Penang, my hometown, and my second favorite is Bali, Indonesia. I love Bali—its lush green fields, Hindu temples, rolling highlands, sandy beaches, rich culture, and friendly people. I’ve been there a few times and wish to learn more about its cuisine. I’m so happy to come across Cooking Tackle, an Indonesian food blog by Ira, based in Bali. Cooking Tackle is a visual eye candy. I absolutely love the exotic recipes and mouthwatering food photography. The blog is simply delicious! Please welcome Cooking Tackle and Ira to Rasa Malaysia, with a traditional Balinese chicken, or ayam pelalah recipe.

Although the sky for the most part is grey here in Bali recently, it doesn’t mean that I’m lack of motivation. In fact, cooking has always been an enjoyable experience, so you could imagine  how excited I was when I received an email from Bee, inviting me to be a guest writer on Rasa Malaysia.

We discussed the recipe via email and I proposed a Balinese recipe to showcase Balinese cuisine to Rasa Malaysia readers. I was very happy that both Bee and I liked the idea. To be honest, I take this guest post as  the perfect opportunity to share my passion for Balinese cooking with the many readers on Rasa Malaysia, especially to those who are not familiar with Bali and its interesting cuisine. I’d like to thank Bee for the honor to be here. I feel privileged to be able to share my humble recipe here.

Let me introduce myself: My name is Ira, an Indonesian woman who lives in the island of the God, the island of a thousand temples—Bali. Bali is genuinely beautiful; it’s a magical island to many people who have visited it. Bali is the island chosen by God, by its people…it’s exotic and heavenly!

I’m sharing a recipe of Balinese food today. Balinese chicken or ayam pelalah is a traditional and authentic Balinese dish, an everyday dish as well as a ceremonial staple. It’s basically shredded chicken. The chicken is first grilled and then tossed  with many aromatic Balinese spices. It’s one of the most scrumptious Balinese recipes and it’s iconic to Bali. Ayam pelalah is commonly served as a side dish or as a compliment for nasi campur Bali or Balinese mixed rice.

The general assumption is that Balinese cooking is tedious and takes a long time to prepare. However, I believe that if you’re passionate about learning Balinese cuisine and have patience, you’ll never be hindered by this presumption. I personally think differently as cooking traditional Balinese food is like a sacred offering to the God—it’s the belief of  Balinese Hinduism. However, I must warn you that Balinese food is spicy and calls for numerous spices in the preparation process, so it’s true that cooking Balinese food is a tedious process.

I learned about Balinese food when I attended a Balinese cooking class last year. I also own a couple Balinese cookery books. After the cooking class, I couldn’t wait to go home and started cooking Balinese food for my family. I was so excited to be able to make authentic Balinese dishes; it was a fun and wonderful experience. I was very lucky as I learned authentic Balinese cooking from a native. Nothing beats learning from native home cooks; they are the most humble, kind, and sincere people I’ve ever known. Since then, I’ve been cooking and experimenting authentic Balinese cooking at home.

Click Page 2 for the Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah) Recipe
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19 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Jade says:

    Bee I love Bali. Thanks for featuring this recipe and take me back to my holidays at Bali.

  2. Elaine says:

    I love sambal…the second picture practically makes my mouth waters. I can imagine the taste of this Balinese chicken.

  3. Corina says:

    This is making my mouth water – It sounds so tasty!

  4. Lisa H. says:

    Wow …. delicious looking chicken… Hope to re visit Bali some day ….

  5. Keylee Daud via Facebook says:

    sedap nie :_)

  6. come to my house and make me dinner :) all this food looks soo delicious

  7. When I saw the picture through your RM Facebook, immediately I recognized the style. Ira’s photo style is very unique. Not to mention the props that I envy. Very Indonesian style! :)

    I’d like to have this with a plate of rice.

  8. renee says:

    That’s new for me, never see or eat it before.

  9. Winna Torvik via Facebook says:

    My fave <3

  10. Thank you Bee for having me here so that Balinese Ayam Pelalah really deserve to be reckoned wide world :))

  11. Can’t wait to try this! The combination of spice paste and aromatic herbs looks so good…since I can’t eat chicken,, I’ll try this with fish. Thank you, thank you!

  12. Adrienne says:

    Hi Bee, Thanks for the Balinese Chicken recipe. Being Aussies we travel to bali twice a year and LOVE the food there. Bali is almost an outer lying suburb of Australia!!! I will def. be cooking this for my family till our next trip to Indonesia in April. :) YUM xxx A

  13. Never tried cooking Balinese food and this all sounds so delicious and looking forward to trying it.

  14. ben says:

    Hi Ira / Bee, is the shrimp paste compulsory? I bought a block of dried shrimp paste from a local Asian supermarket labelled terasi/belachan (Malaysian made). How do I toast it? And my partner hates shrimp paste smell, any tips in cooking this without overwhelming the entire house with the smell?

  15. Beverley dirckze says:

    We have returned from Bali. we loved the place the friendly people . the food was awesome and so flavoursome I loved it in fact i loved every bit the country had to offer.

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