Bali is a famous destination in Indonesia that is popular for its sandy beaches, friendly people and delicious food. The city’s inhabitants are predominantly Hindus and their cuisine is different from the rest of the country. Being Hindus, beef is rarely cooked, but they have delicious traditional dishes made with pork and chicken. The cuisine in Bali uses exotic tropical fruits and vegetables, while rice is served with each meal.
This enchanting volcanic island is often referred to as the ‘Island of the Gods’, as the landscape is dotted with ancient Hindu temples that are set against paddy fields. Rice plays an important part in religious ceremonies in Bali and it is often served to the deities. Visitors will enjoy the black rice pudding, this is made of white and black glutinous rice, with palm sugar, coconut milk and randan leaves blended into it to make a delicious hot desert.
Bali’s night markets offer excellent street food like satay at the warungs, visitors can also enroll in a cooking class to learn about this intricate cuisine that uses numerous spices with its meat and vegetarian dishes.
Lawar and Babi guling are the most famous traditional dishes on this island. Lawar is made from pig’s blood that is cooked with Balinese spices like kunyit, turmeric, ground peppers, shrimp paste, coconut, fresh herbs and roots like ginger. Babi guling is a suckling pig that is spit roasted, a trip to Bali is incomplete without tasting this divine dish! Marinated with traditional spices, and allowedto slow cook, the meat falls off the bone! It is normally served with gado-gado, this is a vegetable salad with a peanut sauce, the unique character of this dish is that it can be either cooked or served raw. Nasi goreng is another dish that is favored by most visitors while visiting Bali as its spice level can be controlled! This is a stir fired rice mixed with different spices, sauces made of chilly and tamarind and combined with egg and meat.
In Bali, people eat only with their right hand and never use their left hand, as they have a belief intheir culture that their left hand is impure. Do remember not to receive things with your left hand as it is considered disrespectful. Traditionally, they consider guests to be gods, so you will not find a host having a meal with the guests. While on this island, try the local rice wine brem and arak the local liquor, they go well with the spicy cuisine!
Wrote by: Srilatha Duraiswamy