Believe it or not, one of my favorite days in Bali started with a trip to the kitchen.
While staying at the Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud, I was treated to a one on one hands on cooking lesson with a top Four Seasons chef named Gede. If you have ever had the opportunity to dine at any Four Seasons, you know that their cuisine is well above the rest when it comes to hotel dining – the absolute best. So getting a chance to go back into their actual working functional kitchen with all the sous chefs and cooking staff was pretty surreal. I stood right in the middle of the kitchen at my own little table creating all sorts of wonderful Balinese goodies. I loved working with many exotic ingredients like fresh galangal, tamarind, turmeric root and kaffir lime that are harder to find in a typical supermarket here in the US.
The best souvenir of my trip was a book full of Four Season’s own recipes and the knowledge on how to make them!
This Balinese Curry Sauce is amazing! The combination of spices is incredibly beneficial for long life and well being. You’ve got to try it in your own kitchen. If you have any questions about the recipe please feel free to contact me here or on my Facebook Fan Page – I’ll be glad to help where I can or email the Chef with questions I can’t answer
- 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 chopped and seeded red chili
- 3 chopped shallots
- 4 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ground tumeric
- 4 tbsp galangal chopped
- 4 tbsp ginger chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 2 tbsp fresh lemongrass or one sprig
- 10 pieces lime leaf
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mash chopped shallot, garlic, red chili, turmeric, galangal and ginger to a paste
- Heat oil in a pan, saute spice paste and add turmeric, coriander and cumin, cook for 5 mins
- Add lemongrass, lime leaves and then pour coconut cream and water, seasons with salt and pepper and bring to a boil
- Reduce to simmer for 40 mins, Stirring constantly to prevent the coconut cream from breaking
The ingredients for the Balinese Spice Mix we used in everything we made… Do you see the tamarind paste? – ahhhhh so delicious.More ingredients – Fresh Turmeric Root, Ginger Root , Galangal, Kaffir Limes, and Runner BeansKaffir Limes, so cuteBig hunk of coconut palm sugar – totally unrefined! Making the spice paste, step number #1 from above
Gede holding up Runner Beans – so long… Runner bean dish called “Lawar Kacang Panjang” – you can make this too! Just use a few tablespoons of the sauce recipe above at room temperature, and combine with freshly cut blanched beans, fresh coconut flakes, caramelized shallots (instead of fried ones here), and the juice of one lime. Btw – this is what my husband was doing while I was slaving away in the hot kitchen
After the cooking lesson, the chef went back to work to make the final touches on all the dishes we had created. About an hour later, he presented us an absolute feast!Everything was perfect – I loved having my husband try all the food I just created, especially the Fish Satay – which was my favorite! Back in the kitchen when I was cooking with the Chef, I asked a lot of quesitons about typical Balinese desserts – he suprised us with this. Which happened to be THE FAVORITE dessert of my whole trip! Fresh fruits in fresh coconut cream & coconut sorbet.And it was served with this. A traditional Balinese crepe dyed green from the pandanus leaves found in the onsite garden and filled with crushed fresh coconut palm sugar and bananas – served hot! At the end, the chef presented me with a beautiful wood box filled with fragrant spices to take home.Thank you Chef Denny & Gede from Four Seasons Sayan for teaching me the beautiful art of Balinese Cuisine!