Thursday, 18 July 2019

Bali Cooking Class

One of my favourite things to do in Bali was take a cooking class and learn how to experience proper Balinese cooking. This was a bit of a last minute decision for us, but the best one we made. A great way to end our time in Bali. The cooking class was called Canting Bali located in Ubud which we booked through our hostel or you can find here. The people are so very friendly and really helpful.  

Traditional Balinese dishes are mainly full of pork and chicken alongside other meats but they are really good at using Tofu and Tempeh in their dishes which the locals also eat. We were booked onto a Vegetarian cooking course so no meat to be expected. The Balinese love to use rice in a variant of ways whether it in their Nasi Goreng, or a simple sweet dish like Bubur Sumsum with coconuts. And not to mention how they use spices and sauces to pack even more flavour to a dish is a credit to recognise. One of their cooking methods Pepes is a way in which they wrap food in a banana leaf and then secured with a Lidi Seumat a nail like skewer made from the rib of a coconut leaf. The wrapped food is then steamed or grilled to to add that extra aroma to the dish itself, not to mention the presentation of it. Everything is well thought out and tastes absolutely delicious!

So to start off our class we made the sauces to go with our main dishes:

Sambal Matah - A lemongrass sauce (doesn't require cooking)

Saus Kacang - A peanut sauce

Basa Gede - translates to "Basic Sauce" 

For the majority we ground up the spices in a pestle and mortar, chopped the ingredients and mixed them together. To cook the Saus Kacang you place in a pan and then add stock and simmer or for the Basa Gede you saute the ingredients and then add to a dish such as tofu curry or sweet fried tempeh. Really simple!

Main Courses

Soup Sayur - Mixed vegetables with lemon grass

Lawar Bali - Mixed vegetables with coconut and Balinese spices

Tahu Kare - Tofu curry

Tempeh Lalah Mais - Sweet fried tempeh

Pepes Tofu - Grilled Tofu in Banana leaf

Sate Tempeh and Tofu - Tofu and bean cake skewer

A lot of these recipes had many of the same ingredients: Shallots, garlic, celery, chillis and salt just in different variations. My favourite was probably the Lawar Bali which came with fluffy white rice, I can't resist the simple pleasures of mixed vegetables with spices just so much flavour. Also the Sate Tempeh and Tofu was amazing purely I think because of the delicious peanut sauce over it.


Laklak Khas or Dadar Gulung - Balinese Pancakes

I can't tell you how amazing these are. Made from rice flour and the pandan leaf for it's natural green colouring, they cook them on clay pans and are ready in minutes. Filled with coconut flakes and palm sugar, they are then rolled up to form little logs and served with tea or coffee. I had to try not to inhale mine as they were so good.

The end result of how they put it all together for us like a little banquet was just wonderful! Seeing it all come together and how much we actually made, I took full of advantage and loaded up my plate :) 

I love how natural all of the ingredients are in all of these dishes, can't complain of eating anything unhealthy whilst in Bali. Make sure to try a cooking class if you ever visit - which I recommend that you do. It's a beautiful island with a wonderful culture to be explored. 






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