Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hangi in the Himalayas

It’s been less than a week and I already miss Vogels, bagels and soy lattes, the food’s pretty ace but I’m craving cheesy pasta and lamb roasts!
Adam (the kiwi guy who’s been a volunteer here for nearly two years), and I were discussing ways to keep the kids occupied during a strike day when I suggested that we give a hangi a go. I haven’t a clue what possessed me to think of that (I haven’t really seen one made since I was 5 at Otaika Primary, and I generally avoid eating them). However, Adam was inspired by the idea and on Friday morning we set off to the huge vegetable markets to get supplies.
Everything is sold in five or ten kg batches. This is about half of the huge indoor section of the market.

These pumpkins weighed up to 20kilos- we selected one of the smaller ones and even then it was huge!
The boys dug a hole, we lit the fire inside and after about 30min added the river stones (thankfully they didn’t crack or explode!)

Layered the wire with cleaned cauliflower leaves, then cabbage leaves and piled on vegetables similar to what we have in a New Zealand hangi, another contained pork and chicken that Maya Auntie marinated in Nepalese spices. 

The majority of the ash was cleared out of the pit, the food bundles were lowered onto the steaming rocks and wet sacks carefully layered on the food. In a moment of rare genius I grabbed the metal plates to try and trap the heat and protect the food from dirt.

After being buried for nearly three hours it was dug up and turned out to be a success! 
The food tasted pretty great, and most importantly the kids loved it!