Having a Hangi on the Beach in Malawi

Traditionally a Hangi is a Maori way of cooking food in the ground in New Zealand, however we managed to adapt the method and make our own version of a Hangi on the beach in Malawi on our Family Adventure Camping Holiday. Firstly it involves digging a deep pit in the sand; we decided to make our pit about 2m deep by about 1.5m wide. It took our whole team of willing diggers about half an hour to dig the perfect hole. Then various pieces of metal were thrown into the pit, old spring leafs, brake drums, wheel rims and engine parts. On top of the metal a gigantic fire was prepared and lit. The fire was left to burn down for about an hour until the flames were gone and all the hot coals had fallen through into the metal parts, the metal was now red hot. The next step was to cover the red hot metal with freshly cut banana leaves.

The food that we wanted to cook had to be carefully prepared so that sand did not get into it. We had entire chickens, hunks of pork, a leg of goat, jacket potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbages, carrots, and butternut pumpkins. Each separate item was wrapped in a damp mutton cloth and then they were placed in big metal baskets and wrapped in damp blankets. The baskets were then lowered into the hole and placed on top of the banana leaves. More banana leaves were placed on top of the baskets before the entire hole was filled back in, completely. A good tip at this stage is to mark the area that you buried your food with some string, this will help when you go to dig up you food later and also stop people walking over the top of it and getting burnt feet. The cooking time is about 8 hours; the food is being slowly steamed to perfection under the ground. We finally dug up the food, careful not to fall into the hole. The sand was still really hot and we had to use gloves to lift out the baskets of food, however once we opened the baskets, the food was cooked to perfection. This had to be the most amazing meal on our
Group Adventure Holiday in Malawi.