Pooja Motl | Author. Natural Foods Chef. Lifestyle Purist.

Bali

A magical place in the world – with magical food.

Happy 2015!

After a much needed holiday in Bali, Indonesia, I have returned the London with a renewed spirit for this New Year.

For this post, which is truly the official 1st post of this new blog, I want to recall the wonderful moments I had in Bali – remembering what I saw, felt, touched, and of course, tasted.

We didn’t end up staying in the tourist-filled areas of this beautiful island, which include the areas near Denpasar and Sanur. Instead, we chose to journey almost 2 hours east to a village by the name of Manggis, in the Karangasem Regency. East Bali is referred to as “Old Bali”. Here, in nearly unspoiled Bali are old royal temples, sweeping bays, volcanoes, secluded beaches, coconut groves, palaces, rice paddies on terraced, lush green land, and ruins. East Bali is full of villages, whose way of life has changed little over the centuries, Tenganan being the most famous.

What I saw: Green, lush, dense and  tropical is Bali, a nation with the second largest biodiversity in the world. Everywhere I turned, was either the green of plants and flowering trees, or the blue of the ocean. Some of my favorite sights: butterflies of all colors, cliffs, swaying palms, mango trees, acacia trees, rice paddies, just harvested rice, temples built on water, daily offerings to the gods (Bali is 90% Hindu), coconuts everywhere and beautiful flowers such as Frangipani and Tuberose.

What I Touched: Petals of the delicate bougainvillea, the snake-like skin of the the Salak fruit, fallen leaves of forest trees almost 4 feet wide, the sand on my bare feet. In fact, I did not wear shoes for almost 6 days straight in Bali. It was the most liberating feeling.

What I smelled: The scent of frangipani and jasmine was everywhere. The scent of the ocean. And the smell of ginger, turmeric, and spices.

What I tasted: On this trip, I stayed mainly Paleo and low-insulin and ate 1 fruit a day. For breakfast I usually ate eggs with a green vegetable (such as asparagus), homemade chicken sausages, homemade yogurt (all of the food at this hotel was made from scratch on premises), and a little jam made of persimmon on the side. I had no caffeine and usually began the day with ginger tea with a bit of honey and a short ten minute meditation.

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Balinese cuisine is Indonesian, and heavily relies on the following ingredients:

Ginger, galangal, lemongrass, coconut milk, coconut water, coconut cream, local fish, local chicken, coriander seeds, nutmeg, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, fresh chili peppers, garlic, cinnamon sticks, shrimp paste, rice noodles, vegetable oil, tapioca glass noodles.

***

I have never been so touched by a people – so gentle and kind, by a land – so magnificent, or by a spirit – so peaceful and warm.

My goal is to bring a little bit of Bali to my cooking and to my daily life everyday of 2015. My mantra is to live each day in mindful peace – each step in mindful peace, if I can. Yes, there will be days where things will get hectic and I’ll be thrown off course, but Bali taught me what is possible. Before I visited her, I didn’t realize the state of calm that nature can bring to us.

I hope you guys enjoy the pics below.

See you in Bali.

With Love, Pooja

 

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