Attempting to be the next Indonesian Masterchef!

It’s our third day in Bali, out of four in total and other than some serious relaxing we wanted to do something a little different.

When I had visited Bali with my family in April we had gone to a cooking class in Seminyak, and it had been so much fun.

So when we discussed activities Alex had really liked the idea of a cooking class. It was his birthday trip after all, and me well I love cooking and you can never learn too much.

Instead of going to the same cooking class we opted to try a new one; Anika’s Cooking Class in Kuta. This class was slightly different as we got to visit a market beforehand, learn about how the local Balinese cuisine different from typical Indonesian and other Indonesian cuisines.

We were picked up from our hotel and along the way to the market collected a few others. In our group there were only six of us, Alex and I, two ladies from Geelong in Victoria and a couple from Madrid, Spain.

The walk through the market was really awesome. There was all types of fruits, vegetables, meat and just things to see, smell and touch. Personally it reminded me a little of the markets in Cambodia where I had visited with my mum a few years back, this market was just a lot smaller. It was a local market and you could see everyone knew each other and their local spots, other than ourselves on the tour we did not see any foreigners. As you can see below chili’s play a major role in Indonesian and Balinese food, yay!

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

One really interesting thing we learnt whilst in the market was how they created coconut oil and how it different in Bali to the rest of the country. The coconut oil, when made was mixed with turmeric for the colour and the flavour. It turned the oil a yellowish colour, our guide said it did look a little like urine….not what you want to picture but trust me it smelt really different and cool. I love both of these ingredients so found this fascinating and was already thinking of ways to add turmeric into our already brought oil.

After the tour of the market we were taken to the cooking school nearby. Everything was set up ready for us to attack it with our skills in the kitchen.

We began by all cutting up a plate each, which mostly contained shallot onions, chili and then some had turmeric, garlic, lemon grass, galangalang, spring onions and other root spices. Alex and I put our hands up for some chilly action and in the end we got both plates containing the most chilies, ranging from mild western chilies (the big red ones) to the tiny green chilies (super hot ones).

As you can see each plate was an assortment of vibrant colours that before and after looked stunning:

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

After cutting everything up small we moved to the morter and pestel bench, where we proceeded to grind all the spices into pastes. The morter and pestels are quite different to the one we used to have at home, it was flat, the handle was meant to be held with two hands and you did not press it to a paste by grind it in small circles in one spot. It sounds and looks easy but we all seemed to lack the skill that comes naturally to those who do it daily.

Once everything was ground down into aromatic pastes the cooking started. It did not take long for there to be 11 dishes on the table, each of us having a turn in helping cook them.

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

andaontour at Anika's Cooking Class Bali

We feasted on everything and it was delicious. Everything was so aromatic and full of flavour. Alex and I got full very quickly though, although we did manage to go back for seconds at some point…maybe that’s why…

With a little last lesson in making two deserts we finished the class with full belly’s a certificate and a recipe book.

Now I had two recipe books, one from this trip and one from when I came with my family. It was wonderful to have the two separate experiences because yes there were some similarities in dishes, but overall each school taught different recipes and now I think we can attempt an Indonesian feast…for anyone willing to give our food a taste test.

Alex and I loved this class by simply asking those at our hotel reception. When I had come to Bali with my parents we had happened to walk past the cooking class whilst walking around Seminyak.

We definitely recommend taking an Indonesian cooking class when you visit Bali. You gain insight into the local food, learn so much about Indonesian and Balinese culture and of course get to eat some seriously good food. I mean how can you not want to learn how to make satay to eat every day when at home?!


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