Dan Moore

Base Gede Bumbu Kuning, or Basic Yellow Sauce, is a key ingredient in many Indonesian recipes.  This basic yellow spice paste is good for making soto ayam lamongan (Lamongan style chicken soup), Ayam Goreng Kuning (yellow fried chicken), Pepes Fish (steamed/baked fish in banana leaves), Indonesian Acar Fish (yellow spiced and sour fish), and Soto Mie (beef noodle soup). So, it is worthwhile to know how it is made if you are going to attempt to replicate some of the many delicious meals you try in the country. Thankfully, it is also really easy to make. Follow this simple 3 step recipe to create your very own basic yellow sauce for curries, satay and more.

Here, you can watch as Dan learns firsthand how to create this staple of Indonesian cuisine during his trip to Bali.


  • 500 grams shallots
  • 325 grams cloves garlic
  • 150 grams fresh turmeric roots, toasted and scraped
  • 150 grams candlenuts, toasted
  • 100 grams ginger, scraped
  • 100 grams galangal
  • 100 grams lesser galangal
  • 2 hot chilies
  • 3 red chilies
  • 5 grams coriander seeds
  • 5 grams whole black peppercorns
  • 5 grams white pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 2.5 grams nutmeg powder
  • 5 grams palm sugar
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 2 salam leaves or bay leaves
  • 10 grams of shrimp paste (Indonesian shrimp paste, Terasi, if possible)
  • 45 grams 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, and the chilies.
  2. Blend the chopped ingredients, coriander seeds, nutmeg and cloves in a Balinese lesung, more commonly known as a mortar and pestle. Or, if a lesung isn’t available, a conventional blender will do until all the ingredients 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 and then let sit for 30 minutes to finish it off.

Now, your yellow sauce is ready for use! Plus, the finished sauce will last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator so you’ll have plenty on hand to continue crafting and creating Indonesian meals.