Bumbu Dasar Merah (Red Basic Spices Paste) is the last series of my Indonesian Bumbu Dasar. Hope these Bumbu Dasar series will help your Indonesian cooking. Bumbu Dasar Merah  is common to be used for Nasi Goreng, Balado, Asam Padeh (Hot and Sour), Sambal Goreng and Rendang.  However, if you create rendang, you’ll need some other more ingredients and no need terasi in your Bumbu Dasar Merah.  I remade Bumbu Dasar Merah, Kuning (Yellow) and Putih at the same time last month as you can see the red is almost done. However, the white and Yellow are still plenty and kept in the fridge.

To all of you that using lost more red base Indonesian foods, I suggested you to double my recipe. It’s the most simplest one compare the other two.

In order to keep these pastes have a longer shelf life, you need to do a canning process as the pastes are low acid foods.

Vegetables, meat and game, poultry, seafood, soups, stews, tomato-vegetable sauces and tomato-meat sauces are all Low Acid Foods. All Low Acid Foods must be “heat processed” in a pressure canner to eliminate the risk of botulism.

Or you can always pour the paste into ice cubes trays and freeze them.  Once they are frozen, transfer the cubes into a ziploc plastic bags.

Bumbu Dasar Merah: Indonesian Red Basic Spices Paste

Bumbu Dasar Merah Recipe

Indonesian Basic Red Spices Paste


  • 100 grams peeled shallots
  • 50 grams peeled garlic
  • 400 grams red chilies (can be mixed with regular red cayenne and ring of fire peppers)
  • 20 grams terasi (Indonesian dried shrimp paste) -> optional
  • seasalt to season
  • 100 mL cooking oil for blending

Cook’s Note:
* If you grind the Bumbu with a food processor or blender, make sure you add a bit oil to have a smoother consistency.
* I prefer to add shallots at the end when I grind them with a food processor . A non-continuously method needs to be applied when you process with a food processor or blender to reduce a bitterness on shallot due to oxidation. So start, pulse and start for a couple times.
* Terasi (belachan/dried shrimp paste) is optional because not all recipes need that ingredient. Terasi is used to enhance the food to reach umami taste without MSG.

Cooking Instructions:

1. If you have more energy and patience, you can use a mortar and pestle. However, if you don’t, just use a food processor to blend all the ingredients until smooth.

2. If you want to keep the bumbu dasar merah in a longer period, you can stir fry the paste. Then, transfer them into small mason jars.  Make sure to do a canning step if you want to store it in a mason jar. No need a canning process if you freeze it.


    • Thank you for noticing that I didn’t put the dishes that can be used with Bumbu Dasar Merah. Anything with red colour dish can be applied. That is why I said terasi is optional as not all Indonesian cooking with basic red will use terasi such as rendang, asam padeh and balado won’t need terasi.


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