Posts Tagged ‘organic cooking’

One of the activities we offer to our guests is taking part in a cooking class with our Balinese cook.

From our Balinese cook you will learn about local dishes and ingredients, pick vegetables in our garden and learn how to prepare the dish. We mostly use fresh organic veggies from our permaculture garden.

This is the recipe for our chicken dish.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
Chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon grass, salt, pepper and oil.

These ingredients are all mixed together and ground. The chicken is plugged into very small pieces, only the white meat is used. The tiny chicken pieces are  tossed into the uncooked herbal mixture and well mixed. Its taste  is utterly delicious.
The chicken is served with rice and veggies.

Organic food

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Today we want to share our favourite Balinese Tofu recipe with you.

Tofu or bean curd is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own, so it can be used either in savory or sweet dishes, and it is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish. Tofu contains a low amount of calories, relatively large amount of iron, and little fat. Depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, the tofu may also be high in calcium and/or magnesium.


At Jiwa Damai we serve health-conscious cuisine for body and soul. We only use local fresh farm products, some grown on our land. In combining our ingredients, we pay attention to how the valuable substances in the food complement each other in order to create a balanced and vitalizing eating experience.
Our talented cook Astri likes to prepare various Tofu dishes. This one is sooo yammi….

Recipe for Kare Tofu:

  • 2 pieces of lemongrass, pounded with mortar & pestle
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • Approx. 4 leaves Daun Salam, an Indonesian Bay-Leaf. If you cannot attain Daun Salam you can substitute with ordinary bay-leaves, though the taste will be different.
  • 4 pieces of Kemirie Nuts. This Indonesian nut looks like a large hazelnut. Astri uses it to thicken and flavor the Kare Tofu sauce. You can substitute with Macadamia or Brazil nuts.
  • 2 red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small piece fresh turmeric (peeled an ground)
  • A pinch of Ketumbar, or coriander spice.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ block veggie stock
  • 1 package of Santan Kelapa (65 ml) or Coconut milk, specifically the extract from the grated coconut flesh
  • 1 cup water

First, make the sauce. Add the Kemirie, chopped garlic, minced red onion, turmeric, Ketumbar and sugar together in blender (a bullet is useful here).

Cut tofu into triangles. Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in the wok enough to coat the pan and give partially cover tofu. Once hot, add tofu. Give the lemongrass a couple of pounds with mortar and pestle and then add the entire stalk into the skillet. Add Daun Salam. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add sauce and stir. Next, add water. The mixture should look almost soupy. Add vegetable sock. Bring the tofu and sauce to a boil for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat, allow to continue cooking and reducing for 2 or 3 minutes. Take off heat and add Santan Kelapa. Stir and let stand. Give sauce adequate time to cool and thicken around the tofu.

Serve warm, with rice.

Kare Tofu

Enjoy your meal!

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Our garden harbours  very powerful roots in the earth. Tapioca the large root you see is used in many Indonesian and Balinese dishes. It can be made into dumplings and chips. The leaves are used as spinach on Bali .


The Taro, the small red roots can be used like potatoes. They are quite starchy.

Both, Tapioca and Taro, carry many nutrients and are delicious to eat.

Peeling Tapioca and Taro

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Today we show you another traditional Balinese dish made from Tempeh.

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and strong flavor. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine.

Sliced Tempeh

At Jiwa Damai we place a high value on sustainable food practices and organically grown produce. We grow and eat a fair amount from our permaculture garden.
Astri, our very talented Balinese cook, prepares food with great care and love. Below is her recipe for Fried Tempe. Very yummy…..

Astri’s recipe for Fried Tempeh: 


  • 1 block of Tempeh
  • Add a dash of Merica Bubuk, Indonesian Pure Pepper Powder
  • 1 block vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water


First cut tempeh into flat squares. Combine with Merica Bubuk, vegetable stock, and salt. Add ½ cup water and allow to soak 20 minutes. Drain, vegetable oil in wok and fry tempeh. We enjoy tempeh with rice and sambal.

Other variations include cutting the tempe into thin rectangles and combining with peanuts and red peppers. This makes a great addition to stir fried bok choy, or added to a salad like croutons.

Dish with Fried Tempeh

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We are lucky enough to enjoy salad from our organic garden on a daily basis. We currently grow two different types of lettuce, arugula, basil, cucumber, tomato, and carrot. All combine for a fantastic mixed greens salad.
Astri makes a wonderful salad dressing to go with our fresh greens.

Astri in the garden picking salad

Astri’s Salad Dressing:

This dressing recipe is simple, quick, and easy to make at home.

  • Juice from 4 to 5 limes.
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • A small piece of ginger (to taste)

Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth and well blended. This light and flavorful dressing does not overstep its bounds and mask the many tastes of vegetables. It lends itself softly and combines nicely with any salad. Enjoy!

Enjoy your salad !

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At Jiwa Damai we place a high value on sustainable food practices and organically grown produce. We grow and eat a fair amount from our permaculture garden.

Astri, our very talented Balinese cook, prepares food with great care and love. We eat mostly traditional Balinese dishes here.

In this blog, we want to share some of Astri’s amazing recipes with you. We start with a very important dish in the Balinese cuisine – Sambal.

Ingredients for one batch:

  • 5 to 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 to 6 little red onions, minced
  • Spicy: 3 red chilies, Mild: 1 red chili
  • 7 medium sized tomatoes
  • ½ block veggie stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

Tomatoes and chillis for the Sambal


Peel and chop garlic, red onion, tomatoes and chilies. Combine in medium mixing bowl.

Heat skillet with around 3 tablespoons of oil. Add ingredients and allow to simmer. Stir occasionally, reducing the tomatoes down. Add the teaspoon of salt, continue to reduce until tomatoes are soft and juicy.

Remove from heat, add veggie stock and sugar. Put ingredients into blender, run until smooth. Most of the time at Jiwa Damai, we eat sambal with tempe and rice. It makes a delicious addition, however, to cooked vegetables or eggs.

Preparing the Sambal

Note: There are many variations of sambal in Indonesia, used both as a sauce, a dip and a regular table condiment. Variations include those with Kaffir lime, peanuts, or shrimp paste.

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Today I spent the morning cooking with Astri. She is the Balinese cook at Jiwa Damai. She is this beautiful lady who is always smiling and makes the most amazing food. So I thought it would be a fun way to spend my day by being her assistant in the kitchen. Oh. I’m Giulia by the way. I’m a WOOFer here at Jiwa Damai. I basically work 6 hour days, 5 days a week & in return I get to live at Jiwa Damai and get these delicious cooked meals for free. I’m very lucky if I may say so myelf.

The talented Astri hard at work

On the menu for today was Balinese-Style chicken, butter & lemon tuna, curry-style tofu, green beans and red peppers & rice of course. We started working at 10:30 am. We kicked off by making the sauces. Everything is done by hand. There are no blenders, or fancy knives, just a little cutting board. Let’s just say to chop up lemongrass, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 mini onions, 3 peppers it took me about an hour. I do have to give myself some credit though. It was so finely chopped that it almost looked like a paste. A good job indeed. While I was working on that, Astri was making a beautiful mix using our mortar & pestle. I want one of these things so bad to bring back to the States. Too bad it weighs like 15 lbs!

Astri's mortar & pestle at use

After that I started cutting up the string beans. It sounds so easy, but since presentation is pretty big over here, it took me quite some time to make them perfect. I thought I was going to cut my finger off a couple of times, but hey, it was worth it. Look how pretty they came out!

Working hard

Yummy string beans!

Astri & I had a lot of fun cooking together. It is so relaxing & rewarding at the same time. You learn to be very patient! Especially when we made the Balinese-Style chicken where we cooked it and then had to peel the chicken one little strip at a time. It took forever, but oh, does it look good.

Overall, it was an A+ morning. I don’t know if I ever spent 3 hours making a single meal, but it sure was awesome to do so here in Bali. The pace of life is totally different here & that’s what I love about this place.

Now…let’s eat up!

Voila'! Dinner is served.

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