5 Ingredients not to forget in a Balinese Cooking Class

Want to take home a long-lasting souvenir from Bali? Consider taking a Balinese cooking class to learn authentic Balinese recipes for you to try at home. Just like many recipes from Indonesia, Bali makes use of many herbs, chilis, and spices in its local dishes. If you’ve ever dined at one of the many excellent local food stalls, you’ll know exactly what we mean! Common Balinese dishes such as nasi goreng ayam, nasi campur, or the fragrant ayam sambal matah, make use of these ingredients. Also, these main dishes also share one thing in common in that they are all centered around white rice, a common theme in most Asian cuisines.

Here are some essential ingredients not to forget after your Bali cooking class, so be sure to keep them handy!


The first in our list of herbs for essential Balinese cooking is garlic. This is a popular ingredient in many cultures, not just the Balinese and for a good reason. Garlic cloves when chopped and cooked add a strong, fragrant flavor to anything it is mixed with. It also adds a hint of sweetness depending on what you compliment it with.


Next up is the close relative of the garlic, the shallot. Shallots are commonly found in Balinese ingredients due to its slightly sweeter taste, while also hinting subtle notes of garlic in the underlying flavor. This makes shallots a flexible ingredient to mix with Balinese sides that are eaten raw, such as the iconic sambal matah.


Any Balinese will tell you that chilies are just as integral as a bowl of steamed white rice. You’ll find chili, or cabe, in almost any restaurant on the island, especially if they serve authentic Balinese dishes. In fact, Bali has its own iteration of fresh chili salsa known as sambal matah. It is composed of entirely raw ingredients including chili, coconut oil, shallots, garlic, lime, and other herbs to add fragrance and balance.

Kaffir Lime Leaves

Southeast Asian cuisines are well known for their aromatic properties, this is especially true for Balinese food. Perhaps the most aromatic herbs of all is the kaffir lime leaf. This herb imbues a distinct fragrance that is commonly associated with Balinese seasonings and condiments.

Steamed Rice

As we prefaced above, steamed rice is an essential component of Balinese and most other Southeast Asian cuisines. Almost all main dishes in Bali will make use of some type of rice, whether that’s red rice, black rice, or the common white rice. There’s a saying that a Balinese main dish will never be fully complete without a bowl of white rice to compliment it. These five ingredients are essential to Balinese cooking and they’re likely to stir up your appetite as you cook up your own homemade Balinese dishes at home!

We offer Balinese cooking classes here at The Santai for those who want to learn an authentic recipe to take home with them.

Pura Lempuyang, Karangasem

Pura Lempuyang is one of the cardinal temples on the island that protect Bali. This temple is home to the famed Gate of Heaven that is often depicted on imageries of Bali. The temple is located on the far east side of Bali, in the Karangasem District, so make sure to plan the day accordingly with the family!

Explore Seminyak

Located just a few minutes of motorbike ride from The Santai, is Seminyak Beach. As you approach the beach you’ll start to see the various boutique cafes and restaurants lining the streets that the Seminyak area is known for. You and the family or friends should spare some time to just explore the area and see what catches your eye! Once you’re done exploring, don’t forget to catch the spectacular sunset right on the beach!

The Santai is a private villa in Umalas that blends both comfort and luxury for our guests. We have 11 luxury villas that are equipped with the most modern amenities and facilities, a private pool and the genuine hospitality of our staff. Book your private villa during your holiday trip in Bali with The Santai for the ultimate comfort and privacy!