Bumbu Bali, also known as Base Gede or Base Genep, is a classic Indonesian spice paste. Similar to how curry paste works, Indonesian people do not eat Base Gede raw, but rather as a base ingredient for many recipes. I learned how to make this dish on a trip To Bali, Indonesia. There I took a farm style cooking class on the Pemulan farm.
On this website in fact you can find Bumbu Bali as a main ingredient in my Opor Ayam, or Balinese Chicken Curry. You can also find it in my Bali Satay Lilit, which are pork skewers similar to brochettes.
There are two main parts to this Bumbu Bali recipe. The wet/fresh ingredients and the Base Wangen (dry spice mix). While you may have difficulty finding all the ingredients at your basic western supermarket, you should be able to find them at a traditional Asian market…especially one that focuses on South East Asian food.
Bumbu Bali Ingredients
10 cm Greater Galangal
5 cm Lesser Galangal
5 cm Turmeric; or 1 tsp Turmeric powder.
3 cm Ginger; or 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
7 Shallots; small.
7 cloves Garlic
3 Red Chilies; long ones. These are quite mild so you can substitute for a simple red bell pepper if you want.
2 Hot Chilies; or more if you want to make it spicier.
1/4 tsp Shrimp Paste
2 Salam Leaves; can substitute for 1 Bay Leaf.
1 stick Lemongrass
4 tbsp Coconut Oil; or regular vegetable oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tbsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
Bumbu Bali Instructions
1. Finely chop all the ingredients except the lemongrass, salam leaves, coconut oil. and Base Wangen.
2. Pound all the ingredients (except the coconut oil, salam leaves and lemongrass) in a mortar and pestle, or use a blender. If using a blender add a little bit of water.
3. Add the coconut oil to a pan on high heat. Fry the ground spices and add the salam leaves and lemongrass. Stir for 5 minutes until you get a pleasant strong aroma. Now you have made the Balinese version of Base Gede!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I use Bumbu Bali or other Bumbu type pastes?
A: Bumbu Bali can be used with chicken, pork, vegetables, tempeh, tuna, crustaceans and more.
Q: How much Bumbu seasoning should I use when I cook dishes?
A good rule of thumb is to use Bumbu Bali at a ratio of 4:1. If you are cooking 100 grams of meat, use 25 grams (1 tablespoon) of Bumbu Bali.
Bumbu Bali stores in the refrigerator for a week or freezer for up to a month.
What Is Bumbu Seasoning?
Bumbu seasoning is a type of seasoning blend used to flavor meat or vegetables right before cooking. It originates in Indonesia, but can be prepared all over South East Asia by the Indonesian diaspora.
While bumbu seasoning has some similarities to Indian curry blends, the former focuses more on the use of fresh/wet ingredients compared to a blend solely of dry powders. As can be seen in this Bumbu Bali recipe, the ginger, and garlic, and shallots etc provide quite a lot of moisture to the final bumbu blend.
Bumbu Bali Recipe
- Mortar and Pestle (optional)
- 10 cm Greater Galangal
- 5 cm Lesser Galangal
- 5 cm Turmeric
- 3 cm Ginger
- 7 small Shallots
- 7 cloves Garlic
- 3 Red Chilies mild
- 2 Hot Chilies spicy
- 1/4 tsp Shrimp Paste
- 2 Salam Leaves or 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick Lemongrass
- 4 tbsp Coconut OIl
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tbsp Coriander
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 3 Cloves
- 3 Candlenuts
- 1/4 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
- Finely chop all the ingredients except the lemongrass, salam leaves, coconut oil. and Base Wangen.
- Pound all the ingredients (except the coconut oil, salam leaves and lemongrass) in a mortar and pestle, or use a blender. If using a blender add a little bit of water.
- Add the coconut oil to a pan on high heat. Fry the ground spices and add the salam leaves and lemongrass. Stir for 5 minutes until you get a pleasant strong aroma. Now you have made Bumbu Bali!
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