Base Gede Bumbu Kuning also known as Basic Yellow Sauce is a key ingredient in many Indonesian recipes. It is really easy to make! Simply blend in all the ingredients in a commercial or Balinese blender (as shown below) till ground into a paste. You then want to sauté the spices to release aromas. This basic yellow sauce lasts for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be used for curries, satay and more.

Recipe courtesy of Paon Bali Cooking School

Basic Yellow Sauce



  • 10 shallots
  • 15 cloves of garlic
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of lesser galangal
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of galangal
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of turmeric or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 hot chilies
  • 3 red chilies
  • 4 candle nuts or macadamia nuts
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 2 salam leaves or bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of shrimp paste (Indonesian shrimp paste, Terasi, if possible)
  • 3 tablespoon of coconut oil


  1. Clean and wash all ingredients except seeds and powders. Slice and remove the seeds from the hot and red chilies. Finely chop shallots, garlic, lesser galangal, galangal, ginger, turmeric, candle nuts, red chilies and hot chilies.
  2. Blend the chopped ingredients, coriander seeds, nutmeg and cloves in a Balinese lesung, or in a conventional blender, until they form a fine paste.
  3. Sauté the paste in the coconut oil. Crush the lemongrass stalk then add salt, pepper, palm sugar, salam leaves and the lemongrass to the paste. Sauté for about seven minutes on a low heat.

Tagged under: