The delicacy of a cuisine depends on the ingredients used and how to process it. Talking about food delicacies, everybody knows that Balinese traditional meals have a unique taste. Not too strong, but flavorful and a bit spicy, such as Ayam Betutu, Lawar, Be Nyat-nyat, Sate Lilit, and many more. The key of ingredients is called Base Genep by the Balinese. There are even also some Balinese ingredients that create a soothing aroma.
Genep base consists of 15 types of herbs and spices which all come from nature. Balinese people have a philosophy of cooking, which is called Tri Hita Karana. In this philosophy, we must build connections with the Creator, nature, and human beings while preparing recipes. Even when processing the food, our feeling must be involved to be more integrated with the three.
These 15 types of spices are divided into main and additional. The main spices are kencur, ginger, galangal, and turmeric, which are also related to Hindu beliefs in Bali. Galangal, or also known as isen, is a symbol of the direction of the wind. It represents the south, which is the existence of Brahma. While hot and spicy spices like ginger represent the north, which is the symbol of Lord Vishnu. Turmeric is a symbol of God Mahadewa and shows the west direction. And finally, kencur symbolizes Dewa Iswara. In addition to these four spices, base genep also includes red onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, large red chili, lemongrass, candlenut, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, and pepper.
Based on historical records, Balinese cuisines with Base Genep base seasoning as mentioned above are some of the favorite foods of Balinese kings. Balinese cuisine also rarely uses strong spices. Each recipe blends with feeling, so the foods are succulent.
Anyway, how to measure the quantity of the spices is also quite unique. For example, galangal is measured by the middle finger segment while turmeric is measured by the index finger segment. Quite typical isn't it? This particularity also makes Balinese specialties famous in the eyes of the world.
Balinese specialties are also generally cooked in a special way. For example, tum chicken is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Banana leaves will emit a distinctive aroma, which adds to the delicacy of the food. Each food is processed with all their heart to form such a delicate taste.
Talking about Balinese traditional cuisine is always tempting and it will never end. The taste will make you eager to visit Bali, again and again. So, what’s your favorite Balinese food?