Asian recipes/ Chicken/ Dinner/ Lunch/ Oven dishes

Ayam Taliwang Bakar (Lombok’s Spicy Grilled Chicken)

16 January 2022

Who needs a holiday when food can bring right back to your favourite travel destinations? Ok, just kidding, I do, I need a holiday. But this dish still brought me back to Lombok, even if it was just for 5%.

What’s in the sauce? At least 20 long red chilis and 6 Thai bridseye chili’s, and of course loads of other tasty ingredients like garlic, trassi, shallots, kemiri nuts, lime juice, tomato and kaffir lime leaves. So yeah, it’s spicy, but believe me, finger licking good!

The last time I made this dish was at the beginning of the lockdown in march 2020. That’s the problem with starting a food blog, I keep wanting to try out new recipes, so I forget about my old favourites!

Serve with steamed fried rice and some green vegetables, for example Kangkung Pelecing (Water spinach in a spicy tomato & coconut sauce)

Ayam Taliwang Bakar (Lombok's Spicy Grilled Chicken)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Dinner, lunch Asian, Indonesian
By Saffron Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • The chicken
  • 1 small free-range chicken (weighing about 1 kg) or 3-4 chicken drumsticks and 3-4 chicken breasts (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • The spice paste
  • 3-5 small red chillies or bird chillies (leave out if you feel this is too spicy)
  • 10-12 large red chillies, de-seeded, roughly chopped
  • 10 small shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 cm fresh galangal (roughly chopped) or 1 tsp dried galangal
  • 1-2 tbsp palm or brown sugar
  • 2 kamiri nuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp trassi (dried shrimp paste), toasted
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 lime leaves, left whole
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime



Start my preparing the chicken, see points below.


Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with aluminium foil. If you have a roasting wrack, that's great! If not, grease the aluminium foil with oil so the chicken won't stick.(see notes)


Put all spice paste ingredients, except the lime leaves and the lime juice, in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ± 1 tbsp of oil to help the blending process.


Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or large saucepan and add the spice paste and the lime leaves.


Keep stirring the paste on high heat until fragrant, ± 3 minutes.


Turn the heat down to low/medium and continue to simmer for ± 15 minutes until the paste becomes thick and the oil starts to separate.


Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add lime juice & mix well.


Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and/or sugar to taste.

If using whole chicken


Cut the chicken in half lengthwise along the breastbone with meat scissors (or a very sharp knife, be careful!). Turn over the chicken and press down using the palm of your hand, you'll hear the backbone crack and the chicken will flatten out.


Rub the chicken with the lime juice, salt and oil, let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.


Coat the bottom / inside chicken with half of the spice paste.


Place the chicken, bottom side up, in the roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.


Turn the chicken over so the skin side is up.


Rub the remaining paste on this side and bake for another 30 minutes.

If using chicken pieces


Marinade the chicken pieces with the lime juice, salt and oil. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.


Coat the spice mix all over the chicken pieces and lay them, skin side up, in the baking tray.


Roast for 30 minutes, then baste the chicken with the juices.


Roast for another 30 minutes.

To serve


Serve with steamed fried rice and some green vegetables, for example Kangkung Pelecing (Water spinach in a spicy tomato & coconut sauce)


  • You can also use separate chicken pieces if you prefer, like drumsticks and chicken thighs.
  • I love using a roasting tray and a roasting wrack so the chicken doesn't stick to the bottom of the tray and it roasts all over. Not to worry if you don't have it, then just use the roasting tray. It's important to oil grease the tray with oil so the chicken doesn't stick!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.