Hangi food from the Maori tribe out of New Zealand is an amazing dish! New Zealand is known for its friendly and humble society. Because New Zealand’s society is a mixture of Maori tribe, Pacific Island people and Asians there are many different kinds of food, such as seafood, roast lamb, and hangi. Among those foods, the most famous is hangi. Hangi comes from the Maori tribe (indigenous tribe of New Zealand). Hangi is made from vegetables and meat cooked using the hot volcanic stone.
Here are the steps to cook hangi:
- Prepare volcanic stones that are specifically used as a heat source. Make sure they are strong stones that won’t break, because if they break, they will cause damage to the food. Broken stones can also bounce off and hurt people nearby. Then prepare the hard wood as well.
- Prepare a flame-resistant sack, or a goat skin that has been soaked in water.
- Dig a hole to a depth corresponding to how much hangi you want to cook. Put the wood and volcanic stones in the hole, then heat them for 3-5 hours before using them for cooking
- Prepare the ingredients. Two different kinds can be used:
- Traditional ingredients such as fish, chicken, and root vegetables.
- Modern ingredients such as pork, mutton or lamb, potatoes, squash and cabbage.
- Mix the raw ingredients with herbs. Then wrap them either in leaves (traditional method) or aluminum foil (modern method). Using leaves gives the food better fragrance/flavor.
- Make sure the volcanic stones are hot, then put the packet above the stones.
- Cover the ingredients with a wet, clean goatskin / sack / cloth.
- Cover the goatskin with soil and make sure no steam is coming out. Let it cook for 2-3 hours.
- After 3 hours, take the soil and goatskin off. Take out the packet. The hangi is ready to be served.
Cooking hangi is quite complicated, especially when you do it by yourself. If you are on vacation and choose New Zealand as your destination, you have to try hangi. I recommend visiting Rotorua, a city on the southern edge of Rotorua Lake, known to have many volcanic and geothermal areas. But if you do not want go as far away as Rotorua, just simply go to the nearest hotel. Most hotels serve hangi at night, along with traditional Maori music and dance.
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