Foraging near Ubud

During one of our walks around town, we met Shaya (Patricia).  She was promoting her new business idea that had just launched - a course on foraging and cooking food in Ubud.  Jen was always interested in trying a foraging course somewhere, so we decided to book it.  A few days later, we took an early morning car to her place ~30 min North of Ubud.  

Our day started with a nice breakfast consisting of bread, local fruits, and some homemade kombucha and teas from local plants that all had really distinctive tastes and colours.

After breakfast, Wayan performed a local blessing for us and we went out on our foraging walk/hike.  Since the course was brand new, we were the only ones in the group so we had a lot of flexibility to customize the day to our liking.  Our guides, Wayan and Ram, gave us lots of options for difficulty, pace, and location of the foraging hike.  We wanted to take the longer journey through the forests of Bali, so our hike lasted around 3 hours through various rice fields, village roads, and jungles.  

Rice fields


Along the way, we learned about different types of rice, how it is grown/harvested, and how the different trees/herbs/plants are used locally for food, health, and various ailments.  We collected and tasted wild fruits (bananas with huge seeds, cacao pods, cashew fruits, wild strawberries, and snake fruit) and a bunch of veggies and herbs including hibiscus, elderflower, banana flower, pennywort, pakis (edible fiddlehead ferns), lemongrass, water spinach, daluman, and a bunch of other plants (that we forgot the names of). 

Eyedrops plant

Fruits of the cashew plant

Eating hibiscus flower

After returning to the house, we prepared the foraged plants for cooking.

The most interesting thing we made was a local drink called "Es Daluman".  It involved making coconut milk from scratch, by grating fresh coconut flesh and squeezing it with fresh water, and adding a chlorophyll-rich grass-jelly made simply by squishing Daluman leaves with fresh water until it turns dark green.  We then stirred in some palm sugar syrup to taste.  It was so interesting to see how simple it was to make fresh grass-jelly and coconut milk, and it was really neat the way the Daluman slime set itself into such a strange/interestingly textured jelly.

We made several simple yet delicious dishes, and then it was time to all sit together to eat!  All of the dishes were really delicious - it was impossible to pick a favourite.  Full, satisfied, and tired, it was time to head home.  Overall, we had a really excellent and memorable experience - it was such a fun day!