Sweet and sour, a cross between Ceviche and Thai Papaya salad, today’s cool and crisp Rujak puts Balinese flavor on your summer table…as an appetizer or even dessert!
When I first saw the recipe for “Rujak”, I was bowled over by the variety of ingredients that go into this very unique salad. No fewer than 7 fruits and vegetables are julienned then tossed together in completely unique dressing made with Tamarind and Palm Sugar. Plated with cherry tomatoes, the salad hovers between salty and sweet. Lime juice adds acidity, cashew nuts more crunch and coriander/cilantro is more garnish than flavoring. (You may have to order both Tamarind and Palm Sugar. Amazon has both.) The recipe is the invention of an Executive Sous Chef, Wayan Sutarianwan (Suta), a Balinese native who cooks at one of the premier resorts in all of Bali. And it is part of Chef Suta’s introduction of its Indonesian Sattvic menu at its Ayung Terrace restaurant.
High in the mountains of Bali lies Ubud, home to a spectacular Four Seasons Hotel.
This architectural wonder is, of course, a place of great luxury. Floating above the treetops, a dramatic entryway ushers visitors into a different world. Individual villas dot the property. The Ayung River rushes through this lush valley. Remarkably, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan gives its guests a truly authentic Balinese cultural experience. Yoga, Meditation, and Breathwork practices are practiced here and centered in the resort’s exceptional spa. It was Chef Suta’s mission to support these wellness journeys with food. He did so by applying an Indonesian accent to new, light, and healthy menu items centered around the Sattvic dietary ethos. Why Sattvic? In Yoga, Sattva represents the ideal state of balance and harmony.
Rujak Salad is a Sattvic food, thought to increase energy, happiness, calmness, and mental clarity.
For Chef Suta, it was no easy task to create the dishes he did. “Cooking without onion, chili and garlic is really like a nightmare for an Indonesian chef.” And the Sattvic diet excludes meat, seafood, eggs, and any pungent ingredients that stimulate the appetite. Instead, Sattvic food is high in fiber, fresh vegetables, grains, and nuts. It took Chef Suta more than a year to find ways to represent Indonesian flavors and textures. “I’m not a person who likes fusion, I like to keep the original taste, protect the original flavors. The cooking can be changed, the presentation can be enhanced but the flavor should be original. And here is the Chef’s strikingly original recipe and some other Balinese dishes to try.
Sattvic Rujak Salad from Four Seasons Bali Sayan
Sweet and sour, this crisp, crunchy salad has a completely unique flavor with cashews, tamarind, and lime juice.
- For the Salad:
- Julienne of 1 English cucumber
- Julienne of 1 large carrot
- Julienne of 1 small jicama
- Julienne 1 young mango, peeled
- Julienne of 8 oz. of pineapple (cored and peeled)
- Julienne of 1 peeled apple like Granny Smith or McIntosh
- Julienne celery
- 16 Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz. Cashew nuts crushed
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Coriander / Cilantro leaves
- For the Tamarind Dressing
- Tamarind Paste 1.5 cups
- Palm sugar 3 cups
- Step 1 Set up the mandoline at its setting for small 1/8 inch julienne.
- Step 2 Julienne all the fruits and vegetables, transferring them to a large bowl.
- Step 3 Dilute the tamarind paste with 1/2 cup of water. Stir to combine. Then strain into a non-stick sauté pan.
- Step 4 Put the palm sugar into the pan with the tamarind paste and stir to combine. Stir slowly until the sauce thickens. Allow mixture to cool down before serving.
- Step 5 Place all the julienne fruits and vegetables in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the lime juice, then add the tamarind sauce tasting as you do. (You may have leftover sauce. Reserve leftovers for another use.) Add salt if necessary.
- Step 6 Sprinkle crushed cashews on top. Serve.