Due to this unfortunate global pandemic situation, going outside has become a strenuous task,-let alone travelling for holiday to other country. For those who are missing the wonderful atmosphere of Bali right now, don’t fret! As we are compiling some simple handy guide of how to build the Paradise Island vacation vibe in your own room. So until the time we can return (very, very soon!), we can bring a little slice of exotic flair to our #stayathome by wandering to Bali in our minds.
WHAT TO READ
A House In Bali – Colin McPhee
Published back in 1947, A House In Bali is a fascinating perspective of living in the island first hand from the eye of Canadian writer Colin McPhee. Critically acclaimed, it is said to be one of the most remarkable books ever written about Bali. The book delicately captures McPhee’s journey to Bali during the pre-WWII era and accounts the life he decided to build on the island, mainly through his understanding of the traditional Balinese music, culture and all its complexities. In 1929, the Canadian-born musician chanced upon rare gramophone recordings of Balinese gamelan music which were to change his life forever. From that moment, he lived for the day when he could set foot on the island where the clear, metallic music originated and decided to live in Ubud, back when it was just a tiny rural village.
WHAT TO WATCH
Eat, Pray Love (2010)
You may have seen this coming, but Eat, Pray, Love still remains as one of the best movie that properly capture the Bali’s immaculate vibe through the story of one woman’s restorative journey. Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) had everything a woman wanted –husband, house, successful career – but she still found herself lost and not very happy. After a divorce, she decides to find herself like so many other expats around the world. After wandering around several countries, Elizabeth finds her future enlightenment in Bali through the help of a wise palm reader/ medicine man, Ketut Liyer. Even if you have watched it before, now is the best time to give it another go!
WHAT TO LISTEN TO
Rhythm of Paradise (2009)
One of the masterpiece by Balinese flute maestro Gus Teja, Rhythm of Paradise is a self-described music inspired from Bali, but not in a totally traditional way. Gus Teja and his musical team, Gus Teja World Music seamlessly blends acoustic guitars and percussion elements to give it a more contemporary influence. Until now, one of the song from this album, The Morning Happiness, is still widely played everywhere in Bali; from prominent gift shops to five-star resort luxury spa, and you might have catch a glimpse of its relaxing, catchy tune. So if you would love to feel the ambiance of the island of gods in your room, this album should be on your daily rotation.
WHAT TO EAT
This one might be a bit tricky; took some effort, but definitely possible to make by yourself. Lawar is a type of Balinese traditional ‘salad’ with meat bites. The cooking part is quite easy, but there are multiple parts to this dish, so it may take a bit of time to prepare. The ingredient list is long, a common theme in many Southeast Asian dishes, so get ready for some (online) grocery!
For the Sambal Sauce:
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and quartered
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 candlenuts (can substitute with macadamia nuts)
- 2 Thai green chilies (chopped)
- 1/2-inch piece fresh turmeric, chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
- 1/2-inch piece lemongrass (white part only), chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch ground nutmeg
For the Lawar:
- 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon grated palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut (or 3/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut))
- 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought fried shallots
- Steamed rice to serve on the side
For the sambal: Place all the ingredients for the sambal in a food processor and process until mixture forms a paste, about 30 seconds; set aside.
For the lawar: In medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to boil. Cook beans to crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl to cool.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Pour in beaten eggs and swirl to coat entire bottom of pan with a thin layer of egg. Cover and cook until just cooked through (top won’t look wet), 30 seconds to a minute. Slide the egg omelette onto cutting board. When cool, roll up into a log. Cut the log in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch strips.Inn same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add sambal sauce and kaffir lime leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt. Simmer until liquid is slightly thickened and gently coats chicken. Transfer to large bowl with the cooked green beans and gently toss with the egg and coconut.
Transfer to serving bowl, top with crispy shallots, and serve with steamed rice for authenticity purpose
WHAT TO DRINK
Jamu Healthy Tonic
Actually we would loove to include some of Bali’s finest alcoholic liquor in this list, such as ‘Arak’ or lines of the island very own premium wine brands, but we think its best to feature traditional DIY home remedy that you can make anytime, anywhere, such as the titular ‘Jamu’ concoction. It is healthy and simple to make, so why not? Here goes!
- 125 g fresh turmeric root, (about 4.5 oz or 3/4 cup, roughly chopped)
- 20 g fresh ginger root, (a large finger sized piece)
- 2-4 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1-2 tbsp honey, (or substitute maple syrup or sweetener of your choice)
- Clean and peel turmeric to remove any loose skin or blemishes. Put it in a blender with sliced ginger root and 4 cups of water. Blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lime juice and honey to taste. I used 2 tbsp of lime juice and 1 tbsp of honey, but I can see that more of either would be nice too depending on your taste
- Strain through a very fine sieve, nut milk bag or muslin cloth (remember, it’ll stain), pour into a glass bottle or jar and refrigerate.
WHAT TO RESEARCH
Finally, if all above steps still make you crave for a wanderlust day in Bali, we suggest you do a bit research about the island. We happens to have some interesting listicles to read on this website; such as gorgeous natural spots to visit, fascinating underwater wonders, or enticing traditional dances. Plan up your next holiday by viewing our curated best affordable lodgings around Bali, and some of the best bars and clubs to dance the night away on your next Bali holiday.
Hang in there and see you in Bali again soon!