Feast and celebrate

Traditional Māori cuisine plays an important role in some Matariki celebrations, and there are many tasty meal options to create such a feast. Authentic, warming, and encouraging joyful times, these dishes blend seamlessly with the feeling of winter.

The traditional hāngī uniquely infuses flavours. An authentic Māori culinary experience, a hāngī is a popular option for many during Matariki, especially as it can produce large quantities of food. Heated rocks are placed into an umu, or earth oven, where food wrapped in aluminium foil, cabbage leaves, or mutton cloth, can cook. This method of cooking offers a tasty infusion of smoky, earthy flavours and aromas, accompanied by tender meat and vegetables for all to feast on.

Boil up
There is something undeniably wholesome about a boil up, which is why it is such a beloved dish across many cuisines. Such diverse flavours and utilisation of foods symbolise and celebrate the abundance of the land, reflecting the significance of Matariki and community. Pork, potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, and a range of vegetables are added to a boil up, alongside a generous variety of herbs to complement the rich flavours.

Kumara soup
The rich flavours of kumara soup make it a popular one during Matariki. Kumara (sweet potato), onion, garlic, and chicken stock come together to make a creamy, nutritious and delicious dish to warm up with. A staple food, and an integral aspect of Māori cuisine, kumara soup is a nourishing meal for both the stomach and soul.

Paraoa parai, fry bread
Every bite of fry bread is one of crisp, delicious comfort, especially during winter. Made using flour, water, and baking powder, before being fried in hot oil, the result is a textured delight. Crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, it is a warming and satisfying aspect of Māori cuisine that you can serve on its own or as a side to other dishes. Pairing it with savoury or sweet, fry bread is a wonderfully versatile option. Other cultures also have versions of “fry” bread.

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