Kamis, 10 Februari 2011

The Foods of Bali

The staple food of Bali is white, polished rice. Nowadays cooked rice (nasi) is of the fast growing "green-revolution" variety found everywhere in Asia. The traditional Balinese rice (beras Bali) tastes better, but is restricted to a few areas and is now mainly used as a ritual food. Other, less frequently grown varieties, are red rice (beras barak), black rice (ketan injin), sticky rice (ketan) and a type of dry rice (padi gaga) grown in the mountains. Rice consumption averages 0.5 kilo per day.

Many local vegetables grow in a semi-wild state. These include the leaves of several trees and shrubs, varieties of beans (including soybeans), water spinach (kangkung), the bulbs and leaves of the cassava plant, sweet potatoes, maize, etc. ne flower and trunk of the banana tree, young jackfruits (nangka), breadfruits (sukun, timbul) and papayas may also be cooked as vegetables. Foreign vegetables such as cabbage and tomatoes are now commonly found also.

Though they form a major part of the diet, vegetables are considered low-status; high status foods are rice and meat. Because it expensive, however, meat is reserved for ritual occasions. Surprisingly, fish plays a relatively minor role as a source of protein. Though the seas surrounding Bali are rich, the Balinese are not avid fishermen, as the sea is considered dangerous and impure.

Some tourist restaurants present special Bali nights, featuring dishes such as suckling pig, a Balinese banquet favorite. Unless you are invited to dine with a local family, these special events may be your only way to sample the true Balinese cuisine. Almost every restaurant will serve nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice with a fried egg on top) and mie goreng (fried noodles with egg). These basic dishes are generally the favorites amongst tourists and travellers.

Vegetarian versions may be requested. Another Indonesian favorite is satay (spicy marinaded thin slices of meat, threaded onto a skewer, barbecued, and served with a spicy peanut sauce). Satay ayam is chicken served in the same way.
The distinctive flavor of Balinese cuisine derives from a sambal condiment and spice mixtures. A standard mixture will include shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal, cardamom and red peppers ground together in varying proportions depending on the recipe. A distinctive flavor is also imparted by strong-smelling shrimp paste (trasi) and chopped cekuh root.

The usual drink served with Balinese food is water or tea. Apart from this, there are three traditional alcoholic drinks - drops of which are sprinkled onto the earth during rituals to appease the bhuta or negative forces. Tuak (or sajeng) is a mild beer made from the juice of palm flowers. 'Me flower is tapped in the afternoon, the juice collected overnight in a suspended container, and the next morning it is fermented and ready to drink.

Arak or sajeng rateng ('straight sajeng') is 60 to 100 proof liquor distilled from palm or rice wine. It is basically colorless, but may have a slight tint from the addition of ginger, ginseng, turmeric or cloves. Brem is a sweet, mildly fermented wine made from red or white sticky rice. Yeast is added to the cooked rice, which is wrapped and after about a week liquid squeezed from it is ready to drink.


1. BASE(Spice Pastes)

Balinese food gets its characteristic flavor from a blend of spices, herbs, roots and other savory ingredients, which are prepared in different ways. The basic seasonings (known as base – pronounced barseh – are sometimes finely chopped or sliced, other times pounded to a fine paste. Some spice pastes are made from raw ingredients, while for others, the ingredients are either steamed or roasted before pounding.

These spice pastes can be prepared in advanced and stored in a refrigerator for up to one week. They can also be divided into smaller quantities and deep-frozen. If you are using a mortar and pestle, grind the dry spices such as pepper and coriander first; then add the hardest ingredients, the roots such as laos and kencur. When these are finely ground, add the shallots and chilies, then finally soft ingredients such as shrimp paste.

If using a food processor, blend the dry spices first then add all other ingredients, except the oil.

Spice pastes keep refrigerated for up to two weeks, or spread finished spice paste in ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen paste will keep easy up to 6 months.

2. BASE GEDE Basic Spice Paste)

300 gr large red chili halved, seeded and chopped
100 gr garlic, peeled and chopped
75 gr ginger, peeled and chopped
500 gr shallot, peeled and chopped
75 gr laos, peeled and chopped
100 gr kencur root, peeled and chopped
175 gr fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
2½ tbsp dried shrimp paste, roasted
2½ tbsp coriander seed crushed
75 gr candlenut
1¼ tbsp black pepper corn crushed
2½ pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
8 cloves
150 ml coconut oil
250 water
¾ tbsp salt

Combine all ingredients except water in food processor and grind coarsely. Place in heavy sauce pan, add all remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for approximately 60 minutes or until all water is evaporated and marinade changes to golden color.

Cool before using.

3. SAMBEL SERE TABIA (Fried Bird's Eye Chilies)

25 bird's eye chilies finely sliced
60 ml Coconut oil
1½ tsp dried shrimp paste
¼ tsp salt

Heat oil in saucepan until smoking hot. Crumble dried shrimp paste and combine with ¼ tsp salt.

Add chilies, shrimp paste and salt to the oil, stir over heat for 1 minute and then remove from heat and allow cool Store sauce in an airtight container for up to one week in refrigerator.

4. JUKUT KAKUL (Snail Soup)

The French are not the only ones to have a liking for snails. The Balinese gather snails in the rice fields. But you can use the canned variety. Cucumber, zucchini or any other summer squash can be used instead of green papaya.

200 gr unripe green papaya
1 liter chicken stock
½ cup spice paste for seafood
1 stalk lemon grass bruised
2 salam leaves
1 tbsp oil
48 canned snails, washed and drained
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fried shallots to garnish

Peel the papaya, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then cut it lengthwise in 4 or 6 slices. Cut crosswise into slices about 0.5 cm thick.

Combine stock, spice paste, lemon grass, salam leaves and oil in a large pot. Bring to boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add papayas and simmer until almost tender. Add the snails and continue cooking until the papaya softens.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fried shallots.

Helpful hint: If you do not care for snails. You can substitute 12 dried black Chinese mushroom. Washed and soaked I warm water for 20minutes. Add them together with the papaya to ensure they will be tender by the time the papaya is cooked.

taken from : "BaliGuide"

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