This ceremonial Balinese dish comes in two versions: the chicken-based ayam betutu, or the traditional duck version that goes under the name bebek betutu. The whole animal is rubbed and stuffed with a mixture of local spices such as turmeric, ginger, pepper, chili, and shrimp paste.
Though the dish is nowadays mainly barbecued, the traditional procedure includes wrapping the seasoned duck or chicken in leaves, placing it in an earth oven, then steaming it over hot coals. If prepared in an old-fashioned way, the dish should always be ordered at least a day ahead.
Long steaming time and fragrant spices produce a dish that is moist and full of flavor, and it is usually served at weddings and other important ceremonies.