Essential herbs and spices used in Bali cooking with naming in English
Kangkung known in english as water spinach, has thin, hollow stems with long, flat, arrowhead-shaped leaves. Its most popular leafy vegetable in Bali, you can find it at all markets and warungs. Boiled or blanched water spinach use for gado-gado salad, nasi pecel, sambal and like a side dish for fish. All parts of the young plant is edible with the shoot tips and young leaves being the best. Kangkung or water spinach can be eaten raw or cooked. Use it for balinese fresh herbs salad, smoothie (instead of english spinach) or for vegetable stir fry.
Dark green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients and water spinach is no exception. The leaves of water spinach are extremely nutritious, containing abundant quantities of vitamins and minerals. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Bayam it is leaves of amaranth, second popular fresh and cheap leafy vegetable in Bali. Its tropical plant have three types of leaves – green, dark red or green with red viens. Using amaranth greens is as simple as washing, tossing, and applying your favorite salad toppings and dressing. Or throw them stems and all into your next stir-fry. You can cook vegan variation of famous indian Palak Paneer with tofu, coconut milk, amaranth leaves and spices. Or greek dish with boiled green leaves mixed with vinegar and olive oil. Choose relatively young bunches of the plant that don’t display any budding flowers, an indication that the plant is already too mature. If you buy the red-leafed variety, the leaves exude a blood-red juice when cooked.
Bayam extremely rich of vitamin A, vitamine C, calcium and iron.
Sawi hijau known as leaf mustard or chinese mustard or one of many variation of chinese cabbage. Important ingredient for Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Cap Cay (vegetable stir fry), popular chinese indonesian dish in Bali. Use it for soups, curry or pickled.
Mustard greens are high in vitamin A and vitamin K.
Bunga Kantan the tropical perennial plant – part of the ginger family, known as torch ginger flower. The exotic, sweet, flowery flavor of the waxy flower bud, which is high in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. When the bud is thinly sliced or shredded, it becomes a spice in many salads, sauces, and dips throughout its native home of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Use it for sambal Bongkot or for tropical balinese salad with barbecued pork, banana flower, grated coconut and balinese spices. Choose fresh-looking buds without too much wilting or browning at the edges.
Daun pegagan commonly known as Centella Asiatica and gotu kola, grows in tropical swampy areas. It is an annual herb native to India, Australia and Asia. Its leaves are eaten as a vegetable and it is also an important herb in the traditional medicine systems of those places. Use it for green salads and healthy drinks. Centella asiatica have a lots of benefits for health as relieve high blood pressure and helps the body defend against various toxins, cleanse the blood, rejuvenate you body and mind.