I left UK on May 19th for 10 months of freedom and exploration with a Round the World ticket. Will I find New Zealand as perfect as it was fifteen years ago? How has Australia changed? Will I learn any Spanish in S America?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bumbu Bali - Balinese Cooking Lesson

We all took turns in twiddling a mnicemeat and herbs/spice mixture onto satay sticks - done with this method the satay is called lillit or wound - because you put a blob of mixture onto top of stick hold in left hand and wind the mixture down the stick with the fingers of the right hand. You can use a stick of fresh lemongrass as the stick as well as the more common bamboo.

With Nyoman in eth market - he's waving a bag of tempe -roughly squashed soya beans ( though not sure if these are also fermented as in tofu)
Vegetables and fruit in the Pasar - Ubud Market
Salted fish
Well you'd think I would be feeling rather tired now as I've just had my lesson which lasted from 9-2pm but I 'm not in the slightest!
The lesson actually involved sitting down and watching the chef, Nyoman Sunarta, of Bumbu Bali 2 Restaurant prepare dishes which he explained as he went on with just occasionally the need for one of the class to mix, stir , grate something.Then we ate what he had cooked.
The class was held at the restuarant where I had the best meal I have had in a restaurant for ages last night:

This was what I ate:
Gedang Mekuah -green papaya soup
Bepasih Mepanggang - grilled snapper with Balinese spices and rice
Home made Ginger honey ice cream
( I might add that I didnt have lunch which is just as well)
and I drank a pineapple apple and coconut juice as unfortuantely I wasn't able to try an avocado and chocolate (!) juice as they had run out of avocados.
It was all absolutely delicious and cost me the princely sum of 89,000 rupiah which included the 15% tax and service charge.You really can't beat it 6UK for all that !

When I learned they ran a cookery class I immediately signed up for the next day. There were 10 of us this morning - the Aus family from Sydney who were also in the restaurant last night and a Dutch couple on their way home from visiting their daughter now married to an Australian & who are into hot air ballooning, a young Swiss guy just graduated in Physics who now wishes it had been food technology - a young couple on their honeymoon from Ljubnia, Slovenia, and another Dutch girl who is doing a RTW.
First off we walked short way up to the market - and Nyoman showed us our raw ingredients whilst the stall holders of course tried to get us to buy - don' think customs would like me sending back knives too much.
Baskets of little dried salted fish and seaweed, blocks of palm sugar, packets of tempe,fruits and vegetables, baskets, incence, offerings, kites etc etc. The sell can be a bit hard here - in the tourist bit though - I was grabbed by the arm by one diminutive woman.
Bumbu means spice aand a lot of Balinese cooking revolves around using a basic spice paste called Basa Gede - Big spice literally.
Of course its hard to replicate when you dont have access to fresh kaffir limes or leaves and there are a few other ingredients that it would be difficult or expensive to obtain in UK .
However we learned or rather watched as Nyoman made a Base Gede, Saur Urab - mixed vegetable, Tuna sambal matah( raw sambal) , tempe manis ( sweet tempe) and Opor AYam - curry chicken and sambal Udang - prawn sambal adn then ate everything together with a complimentary brem ( rice wine) and black rice pudding with coconut milk.
I took a lot of photos as there is a food photo comp coming up but really only took snapshots - will have to think and plan an entry.
The Swiss guy, Mark, emphasised how good Jimbaran is for seafood - seafood grills out on the beach. I have heard about this from another Australian couple- and I know exactly where to go - so I think I will have to add this to my agenda.


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