Monday, 12 October 2015

Easy Recipes for Maori Food (Kai)

Our week in Rotorua has inspired me to revisit some Maori recipes I had tucked away in my recipe folder.  They are simple, straight forward and delicious.  Try them, you won't be disappointed.



400gms floury potatoes, 300gms plain flour, 55gms caster sugar

Peel and slice the potatoes and then cook in boiling water until tender.  Drain and mash until smooth.  Cool and place in a large container - it will expand as it ferments.
Add the flour and sugar and mix to form a dough-like consistency.  Cover with a fitting lid and leave in a warm place to ferment. 24 hours should be sufficient in warm weather but it may take up to three days in cold weather.  It is ready when it begins to swell  and bubble.


1 cup of starter, 350gms plain flour, 110gms caster sugar, 125mls hot water, 1tbsp melted butter

Place the starter in a bowl with the flour, sugar and hot water.  Stir to form a dough and then knead for several minutes until smooth.  Grease a 1 litre pan with butter and place the dough inside.  Cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size.  Preheat oven to 180c and bake bread in the oven for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, brush with melted butter and return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Rewena Paraoa


Paua, also known as abalone, is considered to be a taonga or special treasure by the Maori.  The spectacular shells are used as eyes in the carvings in meeting houses and are also widely used in the New Zealand souvenir market for jewellery and ornaments etc.

1 chopped onion
6 paua or abalone, Shell the paua, chop into small pieces and then mince, preferably in an old fashioned mincer.
Combine 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 egg.
Add the minced paua and the chopped onion and some finely chopped parsley and combine
Add 1 cup of milk or more if required to make a smooth batter.
Fry in tablespoon lots oil at a low temperature

Paua shell


This has to be one of the easiest puddings ever and is delicious.  Any left overs can be sliced and eaten like bread the following day.  There are no specific measurements required.

Take some kumara, I prefer golden kumara but any type will do and if you don't have kumara use any type of sweet potato.
Peel and grate the kumara and spread in a greased oven proof dish.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Cover the surface with thick slices of kumara to prevent the grated kumara from hardening.
Bake for 1 hour at 180C or 350F

That's it!  Simple as!  Serve with custard, cream or ice cream.  Enjoy!

These three recipes together make up an authentic Maori meal which can be made anywhere in the world.  Hope you have fun experimenting with them.
Kumara ready for grating