Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Outdoor cooking, Fijian-style: How to make a Lovo

We are back in internet land after 55 days, so have already lost hours catching up on Facebook, reading other boat blogs, checking the bank statements and so on. How did we manage without it for all that time? Remarkably easily!

Anyway the very nice people at Vodafone Fiji have decided to give us lots of bonus data so our $25Fj recharge has given us not the normal 2Gb but 12Gb to play with. It'll allow us to upload some videos to YouTube in the next few days..

In the meantime, here are a few photos to illustrate the making of a Lovo (earth oven). It's something that you could build on any beach, although unless you happen to have coral rocks and palm trees handy you might have to modify these instructions a little!

First dig a shallow pit in the sand, about 80cm in diameter. Keep the excavated sand piled to one side and have a pile of coral rocks (other stones would do), shavings from a newly-constructed Fijian canoe (or other kindling) and dried coconut husks (or driftwood) ready.

Start with the ancient ceremony of Passing the Bic Lighter 
Light the kindling (award yourself extra lovo points if no paper is involved)

Add the coconut husks

Add some logs and pile on the coral. Leave the fire to burn well for about an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the food. In this case tapi solo, a dough of grated coconut and cassava, mixed with a little coconut milk and sugar. 
The tapi solo are rolled into balls and then wrapped in palm leaves like this

After an hour, rake away the logs and any other burning coconut to leave the hot stones exposed.

Place a grid of green sticks over the hot coral

Place the tapi solo on the sticks. Close supervision is important!

Cover the food with a layer of palm fronds

Add a couple of wet hessian sacks and cover them with the excavated sand. Leave for 90 minutes whilst you do some canoe-building.

Carefully scrape away the sand, remove the sacks and palm leaves and carefully pick up the hot tapi solo

The cooked tapi solo will be slightly caramelised - they are filling and tasty (about the only way we could eat cassava, to be honest)
If you manage to catch a small crab it can be cooked on the hot coral (add some of the discarded logs for additional heat if required). 
 That's all there is to it! Do let us know if you try it.

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