Fiji: Traditional Lovo

Cooking time 2 hours
Serving Minimum six people (designed as a celebration feast)

Ingredients
3 whole chickens
Banana leaves
1 1/2 cups dark soy (to marinate)
5 cm ginger, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
4 Tomatoes, chopped
2 Onions, finely diced
Taro leaves
Coconut milk
Sweet potatoes
Dalo (root of a taro plant)
Heated river rocks (if cooking traditionally)
Casserole dish (if cooking at home)
Tin foil
5 cm ginger, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt

Please note quantities of taro leaves, coconut milk, banana leaves, sweet potatoes and dalo will depend on how hungry everyone is – use your judgement and cook as many as your feast requires.

Method (traditional way)
Dig a shallow pit in the ground and start a fire. Place the river rocks on top of the fire to heat up.

While the rocks are warming up, place the chickens in a bowl and marinate them with the dark soy sauce.

Mix the ginger, garlic and salt into a bowl, lightly crushing it together. Rub chicken with this mixture inside and out.

Mix tomato and onions together in a mixing bowl and place 2 tbsp in each of the taro leaves. Pour pure coconut milk on top of the tomato and onion mix until the leaf is ¾ full. Wrap up the leaves with a top layer of tin foil and tie at the top.

The traditional way of cooking involves weaving the banana leaves so the chicken can be cooked inside them for added flavour. If cooking traditionally, eliminate the wood on the fire and keep the rocks as a lining of the pit. Line up the chicken on the fire oven, as well as the sweet potatoes and dalo. Cover the fire with more banana leaves and dirt to completely suffocate the smoke.

Let the chicken and vegetables cook for minimum 1.5 hours or until the juices run clear. Carefully remove the crops and rocks with either hands or a shovel. Peel open the leaves and foil and serve once slightly cooled.

Tip

If you are at home, simply place the chicken inside tin foil and place in a casserole dish in an oven set to 180 degrees Celsius, or cook on the barbeque, turning often until all the juices run clear.

 

 

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