Tanjung Luar, situated in east Lombok, is the biggest fish market on the island. It starts very early in the morning, before it gets unbearably hot and sunny. People come from surroundig villages by mopeds, horse-drawn carriages or in the back of old pickup trucks. The market is loud, colourful and extremely crowded.
I fell in love with Balinese food at the first bite and numerous stalls and ambulant vendors made it super easy to eat constantly! Here are some of my favourite dishes:
1. satays - grilled skewers. Traditional Indonesiam sates consist of chunks of meat (typically pork or chicken) grilled on a stick and served with delicious peanut sauce. Balinese version, sate lilit, is a bit more sophisticated: minced meat (also pork or chicken), freshly grated coconut and basa gede - the essence of Balinese cuisine, used for numerous dishes. It's a yellow spice paste, traditionally made using pestle and mortar, with turmeric, galangal, ginger, shallots, garlic, coriander seeds, cloves and nutmeg.
2. nasi goreng - fried rice, an Indonesian classic, super simple and just as delicious. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.
3. pepes ikan - fish spiced with basa gede, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled. Delicious and satisfying.
4. bakso ayam - as a devoted fan of Asian soups, I couldn't ignored stalls with delicious chicken broth.
5. ikan bakar - grilled fish. Fresh fish is always great, especially when served with Balinese sambal - a spicy sauce made with chili peppers, shallots, palm sugar, lemongrass and lime juice.
6. lak lak pandan - when it comes to desserts, I usually simply went for scrumptious, perfectly ripe fruit. But those rice flour cakes are another story. Colored with pandan leaves and served with palm sugar syrup and freshly grated coconut, they are divine!
7. es kelapa muda - the best drink ever: pulp and water of young coconut (coconut water being one of the greatest drinks on its own), sweet condensed milk, ice and very intense lime juice. Perfect refreshment!
Balinese offerings, canang sari, usually contain a small treat for the gods: a cracker, some rice, a cigarette or a cup of coffee. Once the incense goes out, the offering has been made and canang goes back to being an earthy object.
A few very green postcards from Bali and Lombok. Both islands benefit from extremely fertile volcanic soil. Jungle, rice paddies, exotic flowers, plantations of coffee, vanilla, cloves - this is a place where the grass really is always greener.