“Bani ngajeng lawar?" (“Are you brave enough to eat lawar?”)
Bali’s signature dish has to be the Lawar - made from pig’s blood, spices, fruits, veggies, meat and animal entrails mixed together like a wicked salad. Lawar can be found in every village in Bali and mostly served on special occasions and celebrations.
This delicacy is traditionally prepared by men. Only the eldest and the most experienced are allowed mixing a Lawar. Men of the village would gather together in a circle, with cutting knives and chopping boards on hand, sit down together and chop away.
This socializing “ceremony” is the most important part of making Lawar as it would make the villagers closer together. Catching up with each other's business, chatting, story-sharing and a lot of laughter! Nowadays, it is done by anybody who wants to participate.
Get a load of this. Lawar has many types and distinguish each other by meat used - chicken, duck, pork, beef, sea food, turtles (!) and dragonfly (!!!). The turtle is not famous anymore (obviously for conservation issues) and dragonflies are the most expensive. You have to gather hundreds of it to fill the casserole!
Don’t let the dish put you off. It may not serve us all but the social aspect of making this “unusual” dish makes it worthwhile to mention on this blog. To make it more “tolerating” to non-Balinese…Wayan from Bali made it a little cosmopolitan.
Here’s the recipe…
Preparation Time 30 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins
3 cups blanched string beans, cut by 1”
1 cup roasted coconut, grated
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced and fried
6 shallots, peeled, sliced and fried
2 large red chilies, cut in fine strips
6 bird's-eye chilies, finely chopped
3 teaspoons fried chilies
1 chicken broth cubes (Knorr)
Banana leaves, cut 12”x12” square
250 g chicken breasts, deboned and minced
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1. Mix together ingredients 1 (except banana leaves!) in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine ingredients 2 on a separate bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Put the ingredients 2 mixture (chicken patties) lengthwise in centre of banana leaf and roll up very tightly. Cover it in aluminum foil and seal it tight.
4. Steam it for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and banana leaf and break up meat with a fork to its original minced form.
5. Combine it with ingredients 1, season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.
*First photo from Hello Bali magazine.
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