Indonesian Base Sauce

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.

You Might Also Like

Published by

Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 100 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.

3 thoughts on “Indonesian Base Sauce

  1. Hey,
    Reached ur post via Paon-bali keyword! I recently had been there n attended the woekshop 🙂 Planning to make this yellow sauce so thought to check if anyone has already posted it!!! 🙂 Happy to connect… See you sometime @ 🙂

  2. Hi! I attended Puspas cooking class, which more than that to say the least. I recently moved and am distraught over the fact that I cannot seem to find the recipe print outs she gave after the class. Is there any chance you might have them and could send them to me. I have been trying to recreate everything from memory, but I am missing a few key steps each time! If you have them and would be willing to share I would be so greatly appreciative! (as will my mother as I promised her an balinese feast, and everything on the internet seems a bit off!)

Comments are closed.