they run in Ubud including a bakery, restaurants and guesthouses. I emailed Casa Luna well in advance to book the market tour and cooking class but it was already booked out so I tried for the cooking class only on the following day and had greater success.
We were welcomed by Oleg into an airy pavillion where we would be watching demonstrations and learning to cook a Balinese meal. Although it was a hot day, the pavillion was surrounded by lush foliage with a lovely breeze flowing through, making it a very pleasant place to cook in. It was no surprise to find out that all participants were Australian and after introductions, it was straight into the 'Get to know your ingredients' session.
palm sugar that was as soft as butter because it was so fresh - certainly not like those rock hard packets you get at Asian supermarkets.
After a break and a refreshing Hibiscus Iced Tea, it was time to get down to business. With the help of an assistant, Oleg demo'd how to make Rujak - a fruit salad with a dressing of that classic Asian combination of flavours: sweet, salty, sour and hot. This included gula (palm sugar), shrimp paste, chilli, tamarind and salt ground to a paste and then loosened with water. We tried it three different ways: with and without fish paste and then Balinese style with over 1/2 dozen little bird's eye chillis. That certainly cleared our sinuses. The combination of sweet and crunchy fruit (in this dish it was pineapple, apple and cucumber) with a tart and sweet dressing with zing was refreshing and a palate pleaser. This will be one I'll be trying at the next summer BBQ.
|Lava Mortars & Pestles|
One of the key aspects I really enjoyed about the class was it's relaxed pace and approach to getting people involved. If there were participants that were happier to observe than join in, that was no problem. Perhaps they weren't so keen on grinding pastes but were happier threading the tempeh for the vegetarian satay. It really didn't matter because there were plenty of tasks to do but there was no pressure for everyone to do something. In the end, everyone had a go of doing at least one thing and very quickly, the raw ingredients started to be pulled together into a set of dishes for lunch. It did help that a lot of the hard yards had been done by Oleg's assistant, who had been prepping, chopping and steaming ingredients long before we arrived.
|Cooking with a smile|
Casa Luna - 11th April 2012
Homemade Iced Hibiscus Tea
Fragrant Yellow Rice
Casa Luna Cooking School