Bali,Base Gede,cooking,Indonesia,recipe,spices,Ubud

Recipe: Base Gede

The only thing I love more than eating good food is learning how to make it so I can relive my gluttony in the future. Indonesians use simple ingredients to create incredibly complex flavors.

A key ingredient in many Indonesian recipes is Base Gede, a spice paste that can be used as a rub or in sauces. We took a cooking class in Ubud to learn how to make this delicious paste and can’t wait to practice in our own kitchen when we get back from our trip!

This recipe makes enough for 10 people; even if you are making it for less people, it’s best to make a big batch at once and freeze the leftovers because preparing Base Gede takes a bit of effort! Serving size is 1/2 tablespoon per person.


  • 10 shallots or 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-1/4 inches of ginger
  • 2 inches of galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 inches of lesser galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 4 inches of fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped (or 2 tablespoon powdered turmeric)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 6 candlenuts (can sub macnut or 3 tablespoons ground almonds)
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white sesame seed
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 4 cloves
  • *1/2 tsp dried shrimp paste (use terasi or belacan)
  • 4 tablespoons of oil (coconut is best, no olive, no sesame, use something neutral)

*If you anticipate leftovers, don’t add the shrimp paste or your hard work will spoil in a few days instead of a few weeks.

Using a mortar and pestle or a blender, grind up the dry spices followed by the fresh. Heat the oil in a wok, add the blended spice mix and cook over high heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes until the mix turns golden. Cool before using. Will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 weeks in the freezer without the shrimp paste.

Unfortunately, we forgot to take a photo of the finished product. But let us Google that for you.

Buon appetito!

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An adventurous accountant with a green thumb. Now the world is his cubicle.

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