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Balinese Rice Cakes  

by on Monday, 2 June 2008No Comment | 2,011 views

Traditional religious ceremony in Bali can never be apart from rice products as offerings. Those can be anything that has been cooked. Two rice products that is a must for Balinese in every traditional ceremony is traditional cakes named Uli and Begina.

Jaja Uli

Uli and Begina are made of sticky rice known as ketan in Bali. Unlike Uli that has smoother structure, Begina is formed by many full grains of sticky rice. There are sweet and salty Uli and Begina.

Though Uli and Begina are both made of sticky rice but the process of making these cakes are different. For Uli, you have to crush the steamed sticky rice, and mix it with grated coconut which has the same amount with the amount of sticky rice. Palm sugar (brown) sugar will be added into it if you want to make the sweet one. Then it is dried but before that Uli have to be sliced as thin as possible. If the sun is blazing hot it takes only a day to dry the Uli. However, most people nowadays like to eat it without frying or drying it. The fried Uli nowadays, are mostly use as offering rather than for the purpose of consumption.

For the Begina, the steamed sticky rice needs not to be crushed and does not need to be mixed with grated coconut. It is okay to add palm sugar or some salt into it. Then that sticky rice is shaped into circle or square form. Subsequently, those Begina are dried. Unlike Uli which needs short period of drying, Begina needs more than 2 days in order to be dried due to it has thicker structure.

When the Uli and Begina have dried well, they are stored. In the case like this, Uli and Begina can be sure that they will be in good condition until six months later. However, Balinese also dry them once in a while to prevent Uli and Begina to be moldy.

When traditional ceremonies come, Balinese never have to be worry about cakes for offerings because they only need to fry the dried Uli and Begina. Then, the fried Uli and Begina are ready to be arranged as offerings. Uli and Begina can be eaten with banana or tapai (fermented sticky rice) after traditional ceremony has ended.

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