I’ve come late to cooking, I blame the fact that I didn’t have a white good to my name until my late 30’s, well I don’t think you can count an old Smeg fridge with a glacier in the freezer and stove with one working hot plate – god only knows what was in the oven! I now jump at the chance to learn something new.
Casa Luna is the mother ship to one of our favourite restaurants in Ubud, “Indus”. Casa Luna runs cooking classes.
One common thread that unites Indonesian food is the spices – some native to “the Spice Islands” and some that arrived from afar with trading on the high seas. From galangal, ginger, pepper, coriander seeds, cloves and nutmeg to the statement of chilli, these aromatic treasures, breathe life into every dish…
No dish is complete without coconut, in its many guises and palm sugar. So much to learn.
The classes are held in grounds of the Second Honeymoon Guesthouse, and starts with homemade hibiscus tea. My class learned to cook, Spiced fish in banana leaves, Asian spinach in tomato sambal, fragrant fish curry, carrot and cucumber salad and black rice pudding. The teacher, a woman who has worked for Casa Luna from the very start, is hilarious and full of information about the importance of food in Balinese society, its ceremonial use and religious importance. The dishes change every day, and on some days there are market tours . The classes are hands on and the food delicious.
The day was complete for me with a bit of retail therapy, a cookbook “The food of my Island Home” by Janet De Neefe the owner with Balinese husband of Casa Luna and Indus. However a true piece of lunacy was to buy the mortar and pestle in volcanic rock, try luging that home in your hand luggage……who knew they sold them at the Fiji markets down the road!
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