Four essential herbs in Balinese cuisine.


Essential herbs and spices used in Balinese cuisine with naming in English

1. Curry leaves

Curry leaves or Daun Kare are a part of the same family as citrus fruits, their glossy green leaves are very aromatic, and has a unique flavour. They are unrelated to the ground spice mix called curry powder.

How to use: add a touch of true India to your fragrant fried rice, chicken or fish curry or dhal.

2. Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil or Daun Kemangi or Thai basil – a fragrant green herb with a sweet, anise-like scent and hints of liquorice, along with a slight spiciness lacking in sweet basil. Lemon basil is a popular in Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai cuisines. Add lemon basil leaves to your pesto to create Asian-style pesto, serve it with grilled prawns and chicken. Add lemon basil to tofu larb or Balinese salad urab.  Soaked Thai Basil seeds can be used in Asian drinks or desserts, they look very funny, like frog eggs.

3. Lemongrass

Lemongrass, Citronella grass or Serai is a stalky plant with a lemony scent.  It grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai and Indonesian cuisines, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavour and aroma to many dishes. Add lemongrass to marinades, stir-fries, salads, spice rubs, and curry pastes. Lemongrass is also can be your aromatic healer, a cup of lemongrass tea before sleep is a good way to relaxation.

4. Kaffir lime leaves

Kaffir lime leaves or Daun Jeruk Purut are fragrant leaves of kaffir lime tree that used widely in Indonesia, Thai and South-East Asian cuisines in the same way as bay leaves are used in the West. They have a spicy, lemony flavour and give a distinctive citrus scent to soups and curries. Kaffir lime leaves are an important ingredient in dishes such as Tom Yam soup, Rendang, Bubur Ayam and Urab.


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