Balinese cooking class

Saturday 28 June 2008 – Lovina, Bali, Indonesia

Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron
Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron

Up early for an 8am start at a cooking class next door at Warung Bumbu Pemaron. The small size of the kitchen means they only have two students at at time. My fellow student was Arne, an agreeable German holidaying with his young family and whose wife had not desired to do any cooking during her vacation!.

Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron
Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron

Ade, who was my waitress the other evening, was our teacher, assisted by one of the restaurant cooks. We started with a visit to the market in Singaraja to observe the trade in and familiarise ourselves with the local ingredients. It was a typically hot, dusty, noisy and possibly unhygienic place, but lots of fun.

Back at the restaurant, because we both had some prior knowledge of the cuisine, Ade allowed us to choose several courses (beginner, advanced & desserts), so we chose those unfamiliar to us.

Arne cooking up a storm
Arne cooking up a storm

A pleasant morning’s ‘chop chop, bang bang’ ensued and the dishes came together quickly. Lumpia (spring rolls) were a hit, as was the tuna curry and a dish of cooked pork, shredded and fried in spices. A vegetable curry made with young jackfruit and banana flower buds was interesting, and more readily-available vegetables could be substituted at home (Ade had been very good about selecting ingredients that were new to us).

Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron
Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron

Our chosen dessert, a biscuit made from only grated fresh coconut and flour made from sticky rice, turned out to be one that they made infrequently and it took some time to get the proportions of moist coconut and starchy flour just right to bind it correctly. The mixture is formed into balls, deep fried, then roled in sugar syrup. It was quite unusual – certainly filling, but lighter than one might imagine from the description.

Arne’s wife and two daughters joined us for lunch, which was fortunate as there was too much food for two people to eat.

Ingredients for our Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron
Ingredients for our Balinese cooking class at Warung Bumbu Pemaron

Later I sat around the pool and early in the evening enjoyed a very pleasant massage in the hotel’s spa. For dinner I went to the restaurant across from Warung Bumbu Pemaron. Again I was the only guest (although they said other guests had eaten earlier). The food was a bit better – fired calamari then another pork dish in spices and a banana pancake for dessert.

The ugly vessel that had been moored off the shoreline for my first couple of days appears to have left. The lady at 1000 Dream restaurant said it was a petrol freighter.

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