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The final savoury dish we made for our Balinese feast was a lamb stew. This dish was based on the recipe from the Bumbu Bali cooking school, that Saskia attended when she was in Bali.

The first step in making the stew was to make (another!) spice paste. This paste was quite similar to the one we made for the chicken curry, and on reflection we probably could have used the same paste for both dishes. However, this spice mix differed in that the recipe involved cooking the paste down before it was used.

First step was to make the spice paste, which involved chopping up many familiar ingredients:

Makings of our spice paste: nutmeg, cloves, coriander seeds, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric, shallots, lemongrass, chillies

Spice paste: coriander seeds, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper corn, macadamia nuts, galangal, ginger, garlic, shallots, turmeric and chillies.

We processed these in the food processor until they were coarsely ground:


Beginnings of the spice paste

The spices were then cooked with lemongrass stalks, curry leaves, water and salt for about 60 minutes:


Basic spice paste about to go on the stove

Once it finished cooking we cooled the paste and set it aside.

To begin the lamb stew we heated the spice paste and coriander seeds for a few minutes over medium heat. We then added the lamb, cardamom and lemon grass, then chicken stock and vinegar:


Curry cooking away

Finally we added coconut milk and simmered until tender.We kept the curry cooking for about 2 hours (or perhaps a little longer) because it suited us. The lamb was very tender and the sauce was thick by the time we came to serve. We served the curry with some fried shallots and sliced lemon on the side.


Final product - not a great picture, but I was hurrying!

This curry was my favourite dish of the night. The lamb was delicious and the sauce was thick, but not too rich. We will definitely be making this again another time. Actually we will probably eat it again this week, as the recipe for the spice mix made at least 2 cups, and the stew only needed one. I might try making it in my new pressure cooker (love it!) and see how the results compare.


Basic spice paste

300g large red chillies, halved, seeded and sliced
100g garlic
75g ginger
500g shallot
75g galangal
100g kencur (we used more galangal as we couldn’t find this)
175g fresh turmeric
1 tbs shrimp paste
2 tbs coriander seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 cloves, crushed
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
2 curry leaves
150 ml vegie oil
250 ml water
3/4 tsp salt

  • Combine all ingredients except water, oil, curry leaves and lemongrass in a processor and grind coarsely.
  • Place spice mix and curry leaves, lemongrass, water and oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Cook for about 60 minutes or until water has evaporated and marinade has changed colour.

Lamb stew

800g diced lamb (we used shoulder)
2 tbs vegie oil
1 cup basic spice paste (recipe above)
1 tbs coriander seeds, crushed
1 tbs white vinegar
12 cardamom pods, crushed and ground
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised and knotted
1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk

  • Heat oil, fry spices and coriander for 2 minutes.
  • Add lamb, cardamom and lemongrass. Cook until lamb is sealed.
  • Add chicken stock and vinegar, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until lamb is cooked.
  • Add coconut milk, bring back to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until lamb is tender (took a couple of hours for us).
  • Serve with steamed rice and topped with fried shallots.
  • Serves 4.

Up next: tapioca pudding (yum!)


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2 Responses to “A Balinese feast (Part 4) – Lamb stew”

  1. Catherine says:

    I chose to cook this recipe purely on the basis of your blog name (love it!). The curry was seriously good! For the record, the name of the missing ingredient is ‘kencur’ not ‘kenkur’. I couldn’t find it either, but went with your suggestion of extra galangal.

    Thanks for a great blog – will definitely be trying many more of your recipes – and telling my friends 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Thanks for the tip – have edited the post to correctly spell it!

      Glad you liked the recipe – I really liked this curry too. I kept leftover spice paste in the freezer, in separate portions and pulled it out for a quick and delicious mid-week dinner a few times. While all that chopping is a bit full on it is well worth the effort so that you have some excess to enjoy later. My research on spice paste led me to believe it lasts about 3 months in the freezer, although I used it up well before that!

      Thanks for stopping by, if you ever have any questions or things you would like us to make, leave a comment in the about us section and we will see if we can help! Glad you like the blog name too!


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