Bringing one of the world’s best literary festivals to the Perth CBD

Bring a taste of Bali into your own home!


As we head towards the launch of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Perth, Festival Director Janet DeNeefe has shared one of her favourite Balinese recipes to help set the mood.  Menikmati!

Tofu and Spinach Curry
Serves 4-6

Spice paste:

  • 6 red shallots, or 1/3 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 long red chillies, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 3 small red chillies, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, (measuring about 12cm long), roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped galangal
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh turmeric
  • 4 candlenuts or I teaspoon ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoons grated palm sugar or brown sugar
  • sea salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied in knots
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400 g tofu, semi-firm, chopped into pieces, approx. 2cmx2cm
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind mixed with 150 – 200 ml water
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 1-2 bunches of spinach, washed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots

Pound the spice paste ingredients to a smooth paste in a mortar, or blitz them in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and add the spice paste. Fry for one minute, tossing back and forth, and then add the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves and fry for another minute, until fragrant and glossy.

Pour in the water, tamarind and simmer for about five minutes over a medium flame. Add the tofu and cook for one minute. Then add the spinach and cook on low heat for a further two minutes. Finish off by adding the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off. Check seasonings. Serve with steamed rice, topped with the fried shallots

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