Basa gede (Balinese spice paste)

Basa gede (Balinese spice paste)

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins no cook

More effort

makes about 150g

A spice paste with nuts, ginger, turmeric and chillies. Whip it up in 15 minutes, keep in the fridge and bring it out to brighten up curries

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal30
  • fat2g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.3g


  • ¾ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ nutmeg, freshly grated



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 15g candlenuts, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts or roasted peanuts
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • 30g shallots, roughly chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 15g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 20g galangal (or extra ginger), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 7g fresh turmeric, peeled, or ½ tsp dried turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 ½ fat lemongrass stalks, hard outer leaves removed, core chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 red bird's-eye chillies, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ tsp palm sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • juice ¼ lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…


  1. Grind the peppercorns, nutmeg, nuts and sesame seeds to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Put the mixture in a food processor, add the remaining ingredients with 1 /2 tsp salt and blend to a very smooth paste. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Bellanatale's picture
26th Jun, 2020
Had to substitute a few ingredients as I didn't have them, but it worked just as well. Used a big dollop in Nasi goreng and have at least 2-3 meals worth left. Really, really tasty.
K CF's picture
9th Oct, 2019
This paste smells and tastes divine. Nothing like it. Plus it is easy to make if you have kitchen whizzers.
10th Dec, 2017
This is the flavour of nasi goreng! This is the taste I've been trying to find for years after having it years ago in Bali. Now I can finally recreate it at home! Yet another way to get fermented shrimp paste into my food.
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