Great cooking school
Wayan was very informative taking time to explain each step with care. We got the recipes to take home and practice. It has beautiful surroundings and I can highly recommend to everyone.
17 Apr 2017
We were here for a cooking demo and lunch as part of a World Spree Bali tour. Wonderful staff, the best Balinese food of the tour, wonderful dance presentation. This was one of the tour highlights for sure.
16 Jun 2016
Balinese Cooking Class and Rice Field Tour
Balinese Food, enriched with spices and flavours was on the agenda on a day trip to Rumah Desa (meaning house in the village) to participate in a Balinese cooking class and rice field adventures. Located in the tranquil village of Bargu in the Marga district of Tabanan, Rumah Desa is a good couple of hours by car from Jimbaran. First we visited the local market with our guide Wayan to get acquainted with the wide variety of produce fresh from the local farms and vital ingredients in Balinese cooking. The market was busy and colourful, a vibrant snap shot into the daily routine of the Balinese people, where baskets and baskets of fresh fruit, vegetables, aromatic herbs, spices and flowers are available alongside different varieties of rice and live chickens. Rumah Desa not only employs thirty-nine family members but has also empowered and developed the village through tourism and the popularity of its programmes. Rumah Desa is a Balinese home compound where many of the family reside in a series of separate colourful and ornate open-air buildings that act as bedrooms, social areas, the cooking school, dining room and temples all set in an oasis of colourful tropical plants and flowers. We were welcomed with a refreshing juice and introduced to the traditions of Balinese cuisine and culture, giving us an insight into not only the cooking but also the eating habits of the Balinese people. Balinese food is aromatic and preparation is time consuming as even the simplest of pastes require an abundance of ingredients. Sweet, sour, spicy, salty, bitter and sharp are the six flavours that make up each meal to promote good health and energy, whilst also stimulating the senses. We prepared Base be Pasih (spicy paste for seafood) while the other group made Base be Siap (spicy paste for chicken). We learnt about all the different herbs, their flavouring and medicinal qualities and how combinations are used to flavour different meats and fish. Next up was the preparation of Sate Ayam (Chicken Sate) and Ayam Betutu (whole stuffed roast chicken) where the meat is wrapped in banana leaves to be steamed, much as we would use tin foil. The class was interactive and interesting and Wayan was very knowledgeable in both his cooking and translation skills. Staples of coconut ginger and chilli are used in most dishes as is palm sugar. Extra flavour is added by candlenuts, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. We were shown the process of extracting coconut milk, we drank fresh coffee ground from the beans growing in the gardens around us with a snack of sweet potato bites rolled in coconut. We donned conical bamboo hats and set off for the second part of our adventure, a short trek with our guide Putu Candra (a member of the family) through the lush damp rainforest via a rickety bamboo bridge across the Kajang river and past a beautiful little waterfall. Putu was excellent guide, sharing his extensive knowledge of all the tropical plants and their uses and how he used to bathe in the river and waterfall as a child but sadly this is no longer possible due to the water being polluted by rubbish from modern day life. We continued on to the family rice field as he further explained about the Subak (irrigation system) and how the community share water so that everyone’s crops can prosper. We met the farmers from his family who work in the rice field and had a go at harvesting some rice too. We were refreshed with coconuts cut straight from the tree while our guides talked us through the rice planting and harvesting process and how bamboo and coconut palms are important for building and used as food sources. We feasted on the fruits of our earlier labour and I’m pleased to report there was a good selection of vegetarian options too. Desserts included the sweet Bubuh Injin (black rice pudding) infused with coconut milk and palm sugar. Rumah Desa is the ultimate place to get back to nature and enjoy a Balinese culinary journey with food sourced straight from the fields and the local market. All the staff were genuine, friendly and professional, excited to share their knowledge, wisdom and catered for our every need. Rumah Desa offers a traditional enriching experience, it was a beautiful place to discover the true core of authentic Bali from its friendly people, culture, art, rituals and philosophy through the activities that it offered. I whole-heartily recommend everything about this trip which we both throughly enjoyed. Rumah Desa has a wide variety of different programmes available alongside the cooking classes and rice field trek. Cycling tours, visits to local schools and even a traditional Balinese wedding can all be arranged. Spiritual programmes are available for guests wishing to detox and re-balance that include Qi-yoga and meditation that leave you cleansed and revitalised. Accommodation is also available where guests can stay overnight and enjoy the full Balinese home experience. Visit their website for all the information.
27 May 2016
Rumah Desa Balinese Home and Cooking Studio
Br. Baru, Marga, Tabanan Indonesia