Indonesian Basic White Spice Paste (bumbu Dasar Putih) | Indonesia Eats
Bumbu Dasar (Basic Spices Paste) is an important in Indonesian cooking and varies depend on the colour matter. My Bumbu Dasar Kuning (Basic Yellow Spices Paste) was posted in 2011 and can be handy when you need to cook something yellow while this Bumbu Dasar Putih (Basic White Spices Paste) is good for making many other foods that don’t have colour in Indonesian cooking.

Opor ayam (Javanese chicken coconut stew), soto betawi (Jakarta style beef soup), sop kaki kambing Jakarta (Jakarta style beef feet soup), gudeg (Javanese caramelized young jackfruit) are some the example.

My Bumbu Dasar Putih (Basic White Spice Paste) is not too beige as I roasted all coriander seeds and white peppercorn as well as almost burning my candlenuts.

Most Indonesian basic spices pastes are worth to make a head to create Indonesian foods (especially the food that comes from Java island)  at home when you live abroad.  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 Putih
Indonesian Basic White Spice Paste

250 grams shallots
100 grams cloves garlic
70 grams candlenuts, toasted
2 tablespoons coriander seed, toasted
1 tablespoons white peppercorn, toasted
2 – 2 1/2 teaspoons seasalt
2 teaspoons terasi (optional), toasted
oil for stir frying or water for boiling

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 putih in a longer period, you can stir fry the paste or add water and heat up until the water dissolves. Then, transfer them into small mason jars.  Make sure to sterilize the jar before using it in boiling water for 15 minutes or in a 225ºF oven for 10 minutes.

Cook’s Note:
The reason why I write 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.


  1. So very excited to have discovered this blog! I will be wanting to cook Indonesian dishes for my family when I return from Indonesia. Especially the traditional bubur from the pasar…if I can find out how to make them! Terima kasih banyak mbak!


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