Homemade Bumbu Spice Paste

We have booked a trip to Bali and I obviously could not resist to start cooking Indonesian dishes (in Dutch this is called “voorpret” translated as the joy you’ll get out of something exciting beforehand). Because Indonesia was a Dutch colony from the 1800s till post WWII, so we have tons of restaurants & shops that sell great dishes.

Bumbu paste is everywhere in The Netherlands. I wish I could find more of this goodness here in Australia, but fear not. I have found the most amazing recipe, filled with just the ingredients you’ll need to recreate this paste yourself (plus all the nutrients of fresh herbs that comes with it).

This recipe makes a pretty big batch, probably enough for about 20 servings. Feel free to leave it in your fridge and use for my Bumbu Bali Bowl or Sambal Goreng Curry. Or pop this in your freezer (in small bags for example) to use as you go. You’ll need about 2 tbsp per 100g of protein (e.g. tofu or tempeh).

Per serve: 60 kcal // 1.8g protein • 10g carbs • 2.1g fats


March 26, 2018
: 20
: 15 min
: 15 min
: 30 min
: easy


  • 25 shallots, peeled
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 5 large red chillis, seeded
  • 10cm galangal (young ginger), peeled and chopped
  • 10cm fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 6 candlenuts or macademia nuts
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, press this down with the back of a knife so you can tie it into a knot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • coconut oil
  • Step 1 The most time-consuming thing about this dish is peeling the shallots. This will take you a fair bit, so maybe ask one of your family members to help you to speed this up.
  • Step 2 Peel and chop all the other ingredients and add this all to a food processor to chop finely into a paste-consistency. Alternatively, you can all chop this very finely with a knife.
  • Step 3 Heat a large wok or frying pan over medium heat with a layer of coconut oil. Add the knotted lemongrass stalk and bay leaves in here and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Step 4 Now add all the spices and cook over high heat, stirring frequently until the mix is a rich golden/brown colour.
  • Step 5 Leave to cool, take out the lemongrass stalk & bay leaves, and transfer to containers or zip lock bags, or use immediately with some tempeh or tofu if desired!

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