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Bringing it back from Bali – Curry Sauce

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 🙂

Food Babe's Four Season’s Balinese Curry Sauce

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins

Serves:  6


  • 2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red chili, seeded and minced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 ⅓ tablespoons garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground tumeric
  • 4 tablespoons galangal, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ginger root, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass
  • 10 pieces lime leaf
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 pinch sea salt and ground pepper


  1. Mash chopped shallot, garlic, red chili, turmeric, galangal and ginger to a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, saute spice paste and add turmeric, coriander and cumin, cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add lemongrass, lime leaves and then pour coconut cream and water, seasons with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer for 40 minutes, Stirring constantly to prevent the coconut cream from breaking.


  • Use immediately to stir fry your favorite vegetables.
  • Serve over noodles or black rice.
  • Curry Sauce can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge or frozen for later use.
  • If you can’t find galangal at your local asian market, use ginger mixed with ½ tsp cinnamon instead.
  • For lime leaf – you can substitute 1 tsp of lime zest.
  • Please buy all organic ingredients if possible


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!

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13 responses to “Bringing it back from Bali – Curry Sauce

  1. Hi Food Babe. Great to see that you had a great time in Bali. I love their curry and I hope I can make it just as good! How many people does it serve? Thank you for sharing the recipe and the substitutes for some of the ingredients. I can’t wait to try it out this weekend. I tried your stir fry last night and I loved it! I also ate it for lunch today!

    1. Good Morning Sally! It makes about 6-8 servings depending on how much sauce you like in your dish. (I will update the recipe) I plan on making some in my own kitchen soon too! I can’t wait to go to the local asian market to see what I can find!

      BTW – I also had the stirfry for lunch the next day! The recipe makes a lot 🙂

  2. What a pleasure to read about your Balinese cooking lesson with the well renowned chef from the other side of the world!
    Most of these ingredients are available in Charlotte. Let’s plan to go shopping with mom next time.


  3. Hi!
    The Balinese curry sauce sounds delicious! Want to try it out this week. Can we not add the coconut milk in the last ten minutes so as not to stir during the whole 40 mn?

    1. Hi Ghida! I don’t see why not? This might work, considering the coconut milk people can buy in the store has already been somewhat refined and broken down vs. the fresh coconut cream the chefs in Bali use…. Oh how I miss seeing you and your family on the boat!

  4. Heyy! We miss you guys too!
    Thanks for the tip. Will try it and let you know how it turns out.
    Made a Marroccan style tangy quinoa salad with apricots and kids directly asked if it was something you would encourage eating!
    I still have a lot of work to do to win them over to my side in this domain!!!

  5. This recipe looks delicious, but I don’t know where I can find galangal and kaffir lime leaves. We also love Indian curries, and are wondering if you can share a good recipe for one? (Going to restaurants for it usually involves a lot of butter, heavy cream, and salt.) I would love to know how to make some Indian curry! Thanks…love your recipes!

  6. I tried this and enjoyed it. It went really well with green beans and quinoa. My mom liked it, too. However, it turned out pretty watery, probably because of the Trader Joe’s coconut milk we were using. I’d tell people to use less water if they’re using a thin coconut milk. We used a tsp of arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce. I’m also not sure about the zest as a substitute for the leaves. It turned out pretty strong. Though I didn’t mind, because I love zest. (Though to check, was I mistaken about the leaves to zest ratio? Was it one tsp of zest per leaf? Or 1 tsp for all of them?) Thanks for the recipe! I’m looking forward to more tomorrow. I’m giving it 3 stars because it’s not as awesome as some of your other recipes, like the om nom nommy almond butter brownies, which are a family favorite. May I say, one thing I like about your recipes is that they take the amount of time to cook that you say they do!

  7. Hi! I absolutely love everything you post and I need your help!! Where can I purchase turmeric if I can’t fined it at any of my local grocery stores? I live in a major city and I am struggling to find it. I see supplements sold on Amazon but I’m nervous about ordering it online. Any advice?? Do you think it is okay to order capsules of it?

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