The Flavoursome Journey through Balinese Cuisine

The Flavoursome Journey through Balinese Cuisine

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A defining spot that helped put Indonesia into the culinary world, Bali is never short of surprises that bring happiness to your palate.

The hottest holiday destination in Indonesia, Bali is seeing a surge in culinary offerings filling the little island. Travellers from around the world can now indulge their taste buds not only in small, family-run warungs, but also at fine dining restaurants.

Even with so many options to choose from, the traditional Balinese dishes are still favourites for locals and visitors. There are two pillars to Balinese cuisine, base gede and base genep, two kinds of mixed spice paste that form the basis of most local dishes. These two distinctive tastes are what make Balinese cuisine different from the rest of Indonesia.

Nasi sedap

Created with the aim to provide homey comfort food, nasi sedap is a mainstay for anyone living in Bali. Easily ordered through food ordering apps, nasi sedap offers rice-based dishes with a twist. The primadonna is the nasi komplit, which comes with crispy chicken skin, fried chicken, fried beef lung, sate ampela (skewered gizzard) and the signature sambal to complete the dish. Customers can customise their order by choosing either white rice or flavoured rice. For the healthier version, nasi sedap offers nasi sehati, which comprises red rice, steamed veggies, tempeh, hard boiled egg and grilled chicken. Follow Nasi Sedap on social media to see the full menu at @nasisedap.id.

Betutu

The term betutu is Balinese for a certain spice mixture consisting of shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, wild ginger, galangal, candle nut, chilli pepper, shrimp paste and peanuts, all finely ground using a mortar and pestle. The highly popular dish is served in two ways, steamed or roasted, using either duck or chicken. Funnily enough, the taste and cooking method for betutu are different according to region. In Klungkung, the chicken is stuffed with betutu spices, while in Gianyar, the betutu is cooked with a banana leaf wrapping, and in Gilimanuk, the betutu is hot and spicy.

Nasi campur

It’s no surprise that Indonesian meals depend on rice. A staple in every household, rice is something Indonesians have to eat every day, from breakfast to dinner. In Bali, nasi campur, or mixed rice, is steamed rice served with a feast of side dishes, including grilled tuna, fried tofu, cucumber, spinach, tempeh, beef cubes, vegetable curry, corn and sambal.