In the midst of flight cancellations due to an active volcano we got lucky and were able to reach the exotic and beautiful the colourful and peaceful Bali. After spending a week in Seminyak we headed north to Ubud and right in between the serene hills I learnt some amazing Balinese cooking at Payuk Bali. If a complete cultural immersion is something you value this is absolutely for you!
The driver picked me up from my villa and we reached the Balinese traditional market about 8am in the morning this is where I met with the other students who ranged from a lovely 5yo young lady to her grand-ma spreading across 6-7 nationalities, it was a melting pot of cultures. Our teacher Budi showed us around the market which was a super fun experience since on all my previous visits I had never noticed a lot of the little things that he highlighted.
We then went to this beautiful traditional Balinese home which was the setting for our class. Budi began with teaching us how to make a traditional Balinese offering, then we saw how coconut oil is made. Did you know the appearance of coconut oil is different depending on the region the coconuts are sourced from? The Balinese coconuts produce oil that looks just like water. I had no idea about this. The cooking stations were all set for us and the aroma of fresh ingredients made me hungry even before we began.
We started with a quick introduction to all the ingredients we were to use for cooking and then started the work – some simple chopping to begin with followed by a lot of grinding and frying and cooking. As you can see from the pictures we did work hard for our lunch. The menu was wonderfully planned to give us a good flavour of Balinese cooking techniques. We began with making three basic sauces which we used to prepare all our dishes, for appetizers we did Grilled Tuna Wrapped in Banana Leaf, Chicken Satay with traditional peanut sauce. We made sambal sauce to go with the grilled fish.
Next came the balinese Chicken Curry, not the most healthy, I admit but every calorie is well worth it. You begin with deep frying the chicken in coconut oil followed by making a lovely yellow curry with fresh ingredients. We made some long beans with sprouts, steamed rice, again in the traditional style. Ended with steamed sweet potato topped with freshly made palm sugar syrup and fresh grated coconut. The food was delicious and simple to prepare, I enjoyed every little bit of the experience and couldn’t recommend it highly enough if you enjoy food and cooking. I will share with you each of these recipes in my subsequent blog posts. The driver dropped me off back at the villa.
Do note, this is not a sponsored post, this is my honest experience!