Fund-Raising Dinner for Bali’s Firefly Research

The evening is a collaboration between Indus and the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, the foundation responsible for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and is a fundraiser for Bring Back the Light firefly research. 


nutmeg hands banda neira article

I am besotted with Banda Neira; with its breathtaking beauty, chequered history and its sense that the past and present seem to mysteriously co-exist. In this forgotten wilderness, the course of history changed forever, simply because of nutmeg, and the hunt for this seductive spice helped shape the face of modern commerce.  Banda Neira lies in the middle of ten small, sun-drenched volcanic islands loosely scattered in the […]

Bakso and the Fasting Month!

Late in the afternoon, village streets across the archipelago become a moveable feast. Above the din of cars, motorbikes, children and the cranking, cooing and raucous sounds of nature, distinctive local music heralds a most comforting message – it’s time to eat. The percussion of knives, spoons, bowls, plates, glasses all become part of a […]

Recipes from the Banda Islands: Nutmeg Fish Soup

Nutmeg Fish soup 2 tbs oil 4 lemongrass 5 lime leaves 9 red shallots, sliced lengthwise 7 garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise, finely 1-2 mild red chilli, sliced finely 2 cups water   40gms galangal, smashed 10 nutmeg fruit or 10 wild starfruit 1 kg fish such as trevally, snapper, sliced into 5cmx5cm pieces 2 tomatoes, […]

Recipes from the Banda Islands: Ulang-Ulang

Ulang-Ulang Gado-gado with local almonds 200gms tuna or makerrel 1 tbs oil (sunflower, safflower ) ¼ tsp terasi /shrimp paste (optl) 9 red shallots, finely sliced 1-2 mild red chilli, finely sliced ½ cup kenari or almonds, ground 2 tsp white or raw sugar tbs mild white vinegar medium cucumber, very finely sliced ½ cup […]

Black-Rice Risotto with Salmon

This is a totally unorthodox but delicious and interesting way of serving black rice. In Bali, black rice is normally eaten as a sweet snack in the morning or afternoon, but, in this case I have matched the nutty chewiness of the rice with the full-bodied flavour of salmon – the salmon gloriously coral against […]

Fish in Tomato and Lemongrass Sauce (Ikan Mekuah)

This is an elegant dish that celebrates the flavours of fresh fish, tomato and lemongrass – and torch ginger if it is available. A favourite in my cooking classes, it has a relatively simple method with most of the work being in the spice paste – after making that, the rest is quick. I have […]

Jackfruit Curry (Jukut nangka)

Jackfruit curry is commonly served at ceremonies because it lasts a few days, but unlike some other ceremonial dishes, this is also everyday fare. Slow-simmered with spices, the jackfruit develops a soft, chewy texture not unlike tender beef. The optional addition of slaked or hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide), which may seem unusual but is a […]

Suna-Cekoh and Base Wangen Recipe

nutmeg banda neira

Garlic and kencur paste (Suna-cekoh) Suna-cekoh consists of four main ingredients – garlic and kencur are the primary components, combined with turmeric and candlenuts. You can also add a pinch of Base Wangen if you love peppery flavours. The intense, vibrant yellow paste has the most alluring, unusual fragrance. A small amount works wonders in […]

The Complete Spice Mix (Base Genep)

base genep

        Base genep is a multi-layered spice paste that appears in many Balinese dishes, from elaborate ceremonial foods to everyday fare. It contains all the spices that are precious to the Balinese, and virtually every ingredient is armed with healing properties. I admit, the list is a bit daunting, but put on […]