Christmas is celebrated everywhere in the world, and so in Fiji. Fiji is a multicultural country with all races blooming about. Fijian celebrate Christmas in their own way and so do Indo-Fijians. Members go out to church and sing songs and cheer, mothers prepare feasts at home for their families and most importantly the tasty feast of Lovo. Lovo is a term given to food cooked in earth oven, on hot stones . The delicacy starts from garlic and spice filled chicken, Sauced mutton, Palusami (Tin mutton mixed with spices and wrapped in Dalo leaves, then cooked in coconut cream.) , Fish, Pork, Beef , Casava, Dalo and a load full of other tasty treats. In this instructable i show you how to make Lovo and share it with your friends and family the Fijian way.
Step 1: The Pit
First of all you need to dig a hole , that's the oven you need to cook in. You have to dig a hole 1 meter by 1 meter and about half meter deep. It doesn't really matter because the more the food you have the bigger you need it to be. Then put in in some big stones around inside (Note: Don't put one on top of the other.) Then get some firewood or sticks and set them in with equal spreading. Once you have it all set light it up with Kerosene or whatever you want , the fire would need to be lit till the woods turn in to charcoal.
Step 2: The Preparation
Ok so now you have your fire up, and what you need now is the food you wanna cook, but not any food will do you need the Fijian spirit in every food so lets try out some Lovo delicacy.
First of is a Palusami. To make a Palusami you need the following things:
-Dalo Leaves (If you can't get this then try using Cabbage leaves)
- 2 tin Mutton or beef (you an use any meat here)
- Some tomatoes
- Salt to taste.
Get the dalo or the cabbage leaves and un-wrap it out. Cut open the tin meat and pour it out in a bowl, and chop some onions and put it in followed by some tomatoes, garlic and salt.
Put it in the Dalo or cabbage leaves and wrap them like parcels. Now get a aluminum sheet and wrap the parcels in them.
You just made a Palusami simple ehh ?
To make the other delicacy you could just make it by your self, yes you could put in your chicken, mutton, fish, or any other meat. For example if you are planning to put in a chicken, then marinate a whole chicken in soy sauce and garlic , then stuff the chicken with spices and garlic then put it in aluminum trays and wrap then up.
Step 3: The Covering
Ok, you got your food ready. Now back to the pit, you now have some charcoals and non-burnt up woods so you take a spade or a fork and get the wood out you need to be left with the stones only.
After that you put in the food wrapped in aluminum foil and heap it up around the stones. Then gather some sticks and arrange them for re-enforcement. Find some banana leaves, coconut leaves or any other big leaves and put it over the pit. (put as many as possible to trap the steam in).
Once you got that get some sacks or potato sacks and cover over the leaves. Now find some cardboard and place them on top to cover as much as possible. once done take the spade and cover the whole thing with the soil. Remember to put soil everywhere and on every side. You don't want the steam to escape, if it does do something to stop it.
Step 4: The Feast
Now, after about 3-4 hours go and take everything away from the pit and take out the food and unwrap the foils and taste whether its cooked or not, if it is then enjoy the feast, if not then go put it abck for another hour or so. You have just made a Christmas lovo. Please try it out sometimes over at your Christmas holidays. At winter times you could do it at home but cutting a large drum and doing it inside but, the taste and fun is in earth cooking.
There you go you have your very own lovo for Christmas , you could also throw a lovo based theme party. Also for the taste its amazing can't beat any off those foods. So please vote for me in the Holiday competition. Merry Christmas and a happy New year. Enjoy.