Balinese basic spice base- Base Gede

Note: this dish is best served as part of the Balinese Feast, which also includes Sate Sauce- from scratch, Balinese Coconut Chicken Curry- Kare Ayam, Balinese Chicken and Coconut Meatballs- Sate Lilit Ayam, and Snake Bean and Coconut Salad- Jukut Urab

  • 300g large red chilli, halved and deseeded
  • 200g shallots, peeled
  • 100g garlic
  • 200g galangal
  • 75g ginger
  • 75g candlenut (or macadamia nut)
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1tsp black peppercorn
  • 150ml coconut oil
  • 250ml water
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into large pieces and bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tsp tamarin paste
  • 2 tbs palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric

1. Chop the chili, shallots, garlic, galangal, and ginger into small chunks


2. Place these, plus the candlenut, coriander seeds and peppercorn into a food processor and whizz until a paste forms


3. Place this paste, along with the oil, water, lemongrass, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, tamarin paste, palm sugar, and turmeric in a heavy based saucepan. Heat on a low heat and simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the spices have become golden


4. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves and leave to cool before using in recipes or freezing for up to 6 months. Use in Balinese Chicken and Coconut Meatballs- Sate Lilit Ayam or Balinese Coconut Chicken Curry- Kare Ayam


A word from the dietitian

There’s quite a bit of garlic in this recipe! It is often though garlic has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that relieve the common cold, resulting in many garlic supplements being on the market. A large study into this concluded “There is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold but more studies are needed to validate this finding. Claims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor-quality evidence”. So save your money on supplements, and just eat real food!