Sasak style cooking class, Lombok, Indonesia

There wasn't a food processor, oven or even a kitchen bench in sight, but preparations were busily under way for lunch local style.

Gathered on a large, carpet-covered platform under a tall thatched roof, a group of local women and men were pounding spices, plucking chickens and stirring pots from which delicious aromas filled the air.

I was invited to try my hand at crushing herbs and spices but I think they did it a lot better.

It was all part of a morning tour of a Sasak Village on South Lombok, Indonesia. This was close to  where I was staying at Novotel Lombok's villas set amongst luscious tropical gardens edged by a white sand beach and turquoise bay.

Meeting these people was pure delight as they welcomed us into their homes, even creating local versions of our names so I became Kerryanna for the day!

While Australians have long had a love affair with Bali, just beyond its shores lie 1,500 other islands like Lombok waiting to be discovered.  I flew here via Denpassar, Bali with Garuda who will soon be offering direct flights from Brisbane.

Here's the 'cooking school' ...

Some of our ingredients

Preparing the meat

Spice centre

This is the stove

Preparing a chicken

They live a simple life but there's plenty of happy faces.  Their homes are created from bamboo, thatch and mud but have stood the test of time.

Just as well I had a guide to follow through the village as it was maze-like with its paths and alleys.

Here's our guide

This is a traditional form of Ikat weaving

Age is no barrier to weaving in this village!

Inside the houses were very simple and neat

The jewellery was all for sale, of course!

I really enjoyed talking with the young women and girls and sharing a little insight into their lives.

The tour ended with a delightfully gritty and sweet traditional Indonesian coffee.

This tour was organised by Novotel Lombok

More on Lombok

Sleeping around Lombok

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney was travelling as a member of the Australian Travel Writers Association for their annual conference held in Lombok.