Balinese Stories

Lawar, a Balinese delicacy

Lawar is a traditional delicacy of Balinese cuisine which is served on special occasions and ceremonies. “Bani ngajeng lawar?” (“Are you brave enough to eat lawar?”) is a  question often posed with a mischievious grin  to foreign guests, as lawar is, for many, an acquired taste. 

The basic ingredients for lawar are pig's blood and an assortment of traditional Balinese spices such as shrimp paste,  kunyit, turmeric, salt and pepper, galangal and other roots; grated  coconut, green beans, boiled jackfruit and singkong leaves. Different types of lawar are made with chicken, duck,beef, pork or turtle meat.  

In Balinese culture tradition dictates that certain types of foodstuff be prepared by women, while others by men. The preparation of lawar is the duty of the menfolk, and on the day of a religious ceremony everyone rises at daybreak, the women to prepare the temple offerings, while the men sit in a circle chopping, mashing, generally socializing and sipping cups of fragrant Balinese coffee, while they cook.

Most lawar includes raw blood mixed with it, something not to the taste of all modern Balinese, some of whom prefer their lawar vegetarian.  Of the many types of lawar, the most unusual is the one made with dragonfly.