One of my favourite Balinese spice mix is Basa gedé Balinese term meaning ‘grand spice mixture’ — a variety of roots, spices, and fresh and fermented aromatics. It is super pungent and very hot, although of course it can be adjusted to taste.
Basa gedé is used for the great festive dishes of Bali: chiefly, spit-roasted whole pig (babi guling), smoked duck (bé tutu), and the meat salads called lawar. Before dawn on the morning of ceremonial occasions, a team of Balinese men from the community gets together to slaughter and cook the sacrificial animals and prepare the basa gedé from scratch.
Basa gedé is the base of all Balinese cuisine and it is a mandatory step in understanding and mastering all Balinese dishes
Since it is made from mostly root spices, all the ingredients for basa gedé should be as fresh as possible.
The method of preparing basa gedé can be time consuming and difficult for beginners as it involves using a mortar and pestle. Using a stone mortar and pestle takes practice to master, so I suggest using either a food processor or, better, a meat grinder. The flavour is not exactly the same as grinding it by hand but the time and effort saved can be worth taking this shortcut, especially when preparing large amounts of the preparation. The basa gedé spice mix can be made in advance and stored for a long time in the refrigerator or freezer.