If you spend much time on the internet reading about Bali you’ll see a single phrase repeated over and over “the Balinese people are among the happiest I have ever met”. Travellers describe being surrounded by smiles throughout their entire stay. Already enticed? Just wait for the food.
When I plan a trip somewhere I tend to search out stories from local bloggers. I love seeing the city through their eyes and tend to find spots that no guidebook would ever mention. When I started researching my visit to Bali I came across Jenné‘s posts about her recent visit. In fact, I found myself following her journey while she was still spending her days touring organic farms and creating vegan recipes with local chefs. I can’t imagine a more perfect glimpse into what my ideal stay in Bali would be. Through Jenné’s culinary adventures I was introduced to Karen, a chef and restauranteur in Bali.
Karen has lived in Bali for almost three decades but in one post she writes about her very first day there. She shares a recipe for a beautiful Black Rice Pudding that she had anticipated and imagined for weeks before that first bite in Bali.
It is a comforting bowl of sweet, creamy rice. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Even though I had to make adjustments for ingredients available here in Toronto, I did feel transported by the sweet rice, infused with the essence of vanilla, to a place far away from subways and Bay street.
1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
2. In a medium saucepan add the rice, vanilla, water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 60 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching and add water if necessary.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut sugar until fully dissolved.
4. In each serving bowl, spoon about 3/4 cup of the warm rice pudding. Top with 3 TBSP of coconut milk and 1/2 a sliced banana.
One of my favourite parts of Karen’s post is her appreciation for the adventure she took to Bali in a time before you could do a Google street view of ever possible destination. Her statement “How do you find yourself if you never have a chance to get lost?”
Do you research before a big trip or just show up and discover?