Nga kai hakari
(Food Feasts)

Wrapping each piece individually and thoroughly with the following herbs and spices and in the following percentages per mix.

This is the first time these recipes have been shown outside the whanau kitchen to give you an idea what we have been enjoying as a whanau hapu tried, tested and used for a long time (centuries).

We are releasing some of these recipes and work methods as a gift back to our people and country.

Many recipes learnt from our people many of them too beautiful to keep locked away until now. Meats for the hangi, puddings, vegetables, seasonings and stuffing's

The first group of leaves go on first followed by the rest and so on until you get to the flax string which is used to tie everything together tightly to form a packet or parcel

There is no need to salt & pepper any of the meats here using these recipes best you do that later but hey if you need to then go ahead.  

For beef

For pork

For goat/sheep

For rat

For all waterfowl (ducks, goose)

For pukeko

For Kereru

For the Korukoru (turkey)

For eel - 1

For eel - 2

For Paua (whole) 1

For Paua (whole) 2

For the crayfish

for the whole fish

For pork head

for the pumpkin

for the chicken - 1

for the chicken - 2

   for the chicken - 3

for the hinau bread

for the tawa bread

for the raupo bread

for the rewena bread

bit of rewena talk

Paraoa is the Maori word for bread. Rewena is the name of the rising agent used in the making. The word rewena comes from the root word 'rewa', which is potato and "na" means the - "the potato bread". Rewena bread is made with fermented potato instead of yeast, which gives the bread its firmer texture.


Kia ora, you are the                              visitor to this page 
Rewena Muffins
“Heariki Style”

The base leaven or raising agent or potato yeast (Kotero)

1½ pints water
1 small potato
1 small kumara
2½ cups flour
1 tsp sugar

Boil potato & kumara with all the water to mashing stage

When cooked mash potato with flour and sugar

Scrape everything into a jar, bowl or pot (not aluminum) to ferment and cover with plastic or a cloth. This will take 3 days to a week depending how warm it is and how the bug will behave. 

1½ pint of leaven
9 cups flour
5 tbsp sugar
1½ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together and leave to rest at least 6-8 hours covered in a warm area

The mixture will rise or double in size during this time.

At this point put the mixture on to a bench and knead the dough until it is firm and divide up into the trays, we were taught to use a lot of flour so that it does not stick to your hands or bench.

Place the bread dough into a greased warm muffin trays and leave aside somewhere warm until the bread rises or doubles in size again about 40 to 60 minutes

bake at 200C

Both at 35 – 40 minutes

Simple fried bread

4 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsn baking powder

Combine all ingredients. Add about 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water and knead until dough is soft but not sticky. Shape dough into balls the size of a small peach. Shape into patties by hand; dough should be about l/2 inch thick. Make a small hole in the center of the round.

Fry one at a time in about l inch of hot lard or shortening in a heavy pan. Brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with honey or jam.

Bush Oven Baked Bread

1 package dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon shortening
1/4 cup wild honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
5 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Mix well and set aside.

Combine lard, honey and salt in large bowl. Add 1 cup hot water and stir well. When mixture cools to room temperature, mix well with yeast mixture.

Add 4 cups of four, stirring well after each cup.

Spread 1 cup of flour on cutting board and place dough upon it. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about 15 minutes). Put dough in large bowl, cover with cloth and put in warm place until dough doubles in bulk.

Turn dough onto floured surface again and knead well. Divide dough into two equal parts. Shape each into loaves or rounds.

Place the loaves on well-greased cookie sheet, cover with cloth and allow to double in warm place. Put into preheated 350-degree oven and bake until lightly browned (about 1 hour).

Use oven's middle rack and place a shallow pan of water on the bottom of the oven.

Rubbed Kawakawa and Cottage Cheese Bread

1 package dry yeast
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp melted shortening
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dry Kawakawa leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour

Combine sugar, Kawakawa, salt, baking soda and flour. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Beat egg and cottage cheese together until smooth. Add melted shortening and yeast.

Add flour mixture slowly to egg mixture, beating well after each addition until a stiff dough is formed.

Cover dough with cloth and put in warm place until double in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch dough down, knead for one minute and place in well-greased pan. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 minutes. Brush top with melted shortening and sprinkle with crushed, roasted pine nuts or coarse salt.
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Maori and their Food

Many references have been written about Maori and the great food plantations and crops they tended to in pre European times having mastered the Aotearoa climate and knowledge of the seasons and weather patterns. They also mastered wildlife and natural environments associated with estuaries the native forests, fauna and flora, the rivers lake and finally the oceans that surround the coasts of Aotearoa.  Considering their lack of knowledge on fertilizers and soil enhancer's, Maori lived under these conditions for over a thousand years.

There was no famine, there were no hardships experienced in terms of lack of food. The Maori lived together and simply lived a nomadic lifestyle within their own territories tending to garden plots every season. As the soil supplement was used up they simply left the land to regenerate itself and started a new plot somewhere else.

Food was in plentiful supply on land, in the garden plot or 'Mara' , in the forests, rivers, lakes, estuaries and finally the sea.  Maori held many feasts throughout the year attending meetings, funerals or tangi or got together to maintain ties with each other.

Large cultivation's of kumara, aruhe, taro, fishing for fish, fresh-water fish and shell-fish, many varieties of fruits and berries gathered in the forests, birds caught or snared to show that nature always had a plentiful supply of food, and that he need never wait for a hui (gathering) to have a square meal.

Before the arrival of the European, Maori lived a tradition like no other.

But change was in the wind and that change came at a huge price and the need for Maori to adapt to that change meant leaving behind a tradition and a lifestyle forever.

The purpose of this website is to demonstrate that past to pass on knowledge and traditions retained by reputable Maori inside of the Hospitality Industry and those who hold the knowledge on the Marae and amongst whanau, hapu and Iwi to whanau and friends across the planet once more.

The twist of cause is in today's world we will be using machines like never before although sticking to tradition where and when we can, modern tools would be the preferred choice of cooking demonstrations, food preparations and what used to be to how things are done today.

Perhaps it would interest the reader to know how food was and may be collected and supplied in today's environment for hui, either at a large tribal gatherings,  State Banquets, weddings, birthdays, socials, celebrations,  openings, or any other ceremony of importance.

For example an important
State Meeting like at Te Wairoa 1886 where Te Keepa Te Rangipuawhe, Wairoa chief where he lived with his hapu Tuhourangi. Although the hui would be spoken of as being arranged by the chief Te Rangipuawhe, the food collected to feed the various members of the hapu attending was by the people of Tuhourangi who lived at Te Wairoa.

All the hapu of Tuhourangi, and they were many, when they heard that there would be a hui, began at once to collect food to help to feed the manuhiri coming or guests. A hapu living near the sea began getting fish and preparing them a year or more beforehand, and clans living near a forest collected birds and berries and fruits. Extra cultivation's of kumara, taro, and hue would be planted, and aruhe would be collected in quantities. These foods were brought to Te Wairoa as they were ready, and stored, and greater quantities brought by the many hapu when they arrived a week or two before the meeting.

This may show that the expense of the hui was not borne entirely by the hapu of Tuhourangi who were supporting their chief, and that his hapu was not made poor as a result of the gathering. In addition, other hapu or tribes who attended never came without a presentation of food to help the ceremony, and the expense, being evenly distributed amongst whanau, hapu and Iwi would scarcely be felt by any of them.

Cooking was done by women and pononga (slaves), but mainly by the women, who waruwaru (scraped) the kumara and prepared the other vegetable food, and very often prepared the hangi, or cooking oven. No woman may cook tawa berries, and some other foods, during menstruation, neither must she prepare a hangi while in that condition.

It was believed that the food would not get cooked.  Tohunga and chiefs must not cook food, for fear of losing their mana. Food must not be passed over the head of a chief, Tohunga, or elders, as the head is very tapu indeed.

A young member of a family must not pass food over an elder brother's or elder sister's head, nor over the head of an Ariki (first born), for the head was tapu. The food must be thrown right away or buried.

Food was preserved or stored in a whata, two open work shelves, one above the other, supported on four uprights. The lower was about five feet from the ground, and the upper about ten or twelve from the ground. The shelves were reached by an arawhata, step-ladder, which was a tree trunk or pole with notches cut out to hold the front part of the foot. The shelves were used for drying fish, and as a larder for human flesh, or dog flesh which was to be eaten shortly.

This hangi fresh out of the oven

Our Food Links to Tane and Tangaroa

Recipes are being uploaded on an ongoing process roughly 120 recipes reserved for reference purposes and availability of ingredients - 3000 recipes have been reserved for book release available for sale from this website coming soon. They have been well tested and used by whanau for a long time. Our goal is to introduce our culinary culture to you because it is time now to share our Maori food culture in New Zealand still being used by many of our whanau.

It is our hope that this culture is revived to a point where we can enjoy our culinary culture once again albeit in a leaser degree than when we once could - I have been advised that a lot of the ingredients mentioned may not be available or could be difficult to acquire due to access to private property, protected wetlands, reserves and parks.

The main reason for our research is to demonstrate that our Maori cuisine is still here and we want to introduce it back to our people. To offer you a view and understanding of our traditional Maori food which we still enjoy today.

Many recipes will be added to this page with a good selection set aside for publishing.

This website was created to gift back and to demonstrate that our traditional Maori culinary treasures have been retained by a selected and gifted few who have a very strong bond to the land, the people, the lakes, rivers, seas and especially our native forests, home to many plants they share in recipes, preparation methods for you to enjoy at the table.

Demand for the return of our traditional practices of our food culture has been a long time coming and will become available online soon.

The challenge now is to revive recipes and preparation methods some not done for over 200 hundred years. Many methods and practices used at the time were very time consuming and ingredients difficult to get and I guess that is why they have not been seen for such a long time.

Certain vegetables and plants are considered weeds but in the past they were a daily food source. Many species of fish, plants and methods of preparation have long been forgotten or simply disappeared.

Many feasts were enjoyed and of course the karakia element  associated with each plant, each fish, tree, bird and so on served a purpose of giving continious praise to the many gods prior to being picked or harvested. The purpose they were harvested for. The art of having people who knew what to do and where expert in that field

Foods in this website are linked to our genuine Maori cuisine list named by those with that knowledge. They have not been translated as were  names we were taught and grew up with. Scientific and English names we know BUT they have been purposely left out because that is not purpose of this website.

Ours is to introduce you to a food culture that had been put aside by the Maori people because of new opportunities presented to them by a change in circumstances with the arrival of a new culture, technology, resources and of course a whole new world of tools. 

A revolutionary change that offered them an alternative food source that was easy to cultivate, harvest and required less time spent in the gardens and more time learning new skills (and then killing each other and the pakeha off quicker) Hamuera.1965

Warfare and foodfare were two assets Maori held very dear. The right to grow and harvest food was paramount and the right to protect their crops, and foods resources was equally if not more important. Many a great battles were fought over lands not so much the lands but the food it could produce and the clarity of water quality and its abundance.

It was the kumara that kept Maori busy in the fields each year with little success with the Hue, taro and certain yams until they mastered what could be provided by mother nature from the moutains, rivers, lakes lands and finally the oceans in New Zealand.

Provisions mastered by the Maori for their daily use to live on will be available in this website. Adaptation was the order of the day learning through nature what nature could provide and of course trying things out through trail and error in some cases paying for it with their lives. 

There were many sanctuaries, rivers, streams and vast forests teaming with bird life, fresh water fish, plants, trees and insects many since disappearing off the face of the earth and many more surviving luckily for us. A great time was spent harvesting, fishing and hunting eventually cooking on a daily basis with major hunting and fishing events reserved for preserving purposes.

Areas around Tamaki supported large populations where fish and bird life was plentiful and widely renowned. The majority of the uncultivated vegetable foods proved unpalatable to the missionaries and with the exception of watercress and puha which were much relished by the Maori then just as they are today but we think tolerated by the missionaries only through necessity.  We could be wrong??

Principle daily dietry needs enjoyed were birds like the Kereru, Kaka,Tui, rat, dog, bat all regarded as delicacies but at times hard to get. Fish like the Hai, koura, tuna, wheke, and vegetables puha, pikopiko, kohetake, Kouka, maraurau, makaika, and berries like kotukutuku, miro, tawa, kahikatea, maire, matai, hinau and others, mushrooms like harore and a whole gallery of foods available. Maori soon became specialist and masters in the forests where to look for food.

The ngahere, the rivers, streams, estuaries and the oceans were the kitchen pantries to the Maori and still is to those who have maintained their links to their culture and practice of harvesting and processing food "a ngahere, a Wairua" today. A practice which Maori hold high for their forests, rivers, streams, and lakes as providers of life.

Te wao tapu a Tane was to a large extent home to the Maori and as Tane was the creator and begetter of both trees and mankind there was always that relationship between man and the trees. That's explains where the Hug a tree concept came from.

A trait the Maori had over the Soldiers of the time when they found out to their cost that the Maori were indeed masters and at home inside the forests of Tane.

The Maori people however never underestimated the power of the forests for when a tree was felled, Tane and the forest creatures had to be propitiated. The forest was protected by forest lore and before anyone would enter the forest a karakia was performed and food could not be taken into the forest especially during the bird hunting season not to offend the sacred creatures of the forest who always gave of their kitchen and accepted nothing in return. To the creatures of the forest when food was bought into the forest that was a sign that you had enough food and therefore needed none from them. To do so was looked upon as an insult to their intelligence, greed and disrespect.

Tribal expeditions

Traditional Māori fishing included large-scale tribal expeditions. One expedition in 1855 by the Te Rarawa people, led by the chief Popota Te Waha, involved more than 1,000 individuals in 50 canoes, and lasted over two days.

The fish caught from such communal efforts were divided by the leading chief among each whānau (family). The fish were then either steamed in a hāngī (earth oven) or hung up on a scaffold to dry in the sun, and saved in pātaka (storehouses) for future consumption.
Gift exchange

Sometimes fish were caught for gift exchange with inland tribes. Coastal people gave dried fish, dried edible seaweed and shark oil to those who lived in forests, who reciprocated with preserved birds, rats, hīnau berry cakes, and other food from their domain.

Occasionally the gifting of fish took place as part of a feast, which could be particularly grand when different tribes came together. At a feast prepared by Te Waharoa of Ngāti Hauā in 1837, 20,000 dried eels and several tonnes of fish were presented to the guests. In 1844, 9,000 sharks were laid out at a feast given by the great Waikato chief Pōtatau Te Wherowhero at Remuera.

In the South Island, where similar exchanges occurred, an account of the Ngāi Tahu people who lived on Banks Peninsula has been recorded:

   At Pigeon Bay they used to catch large numbers of fish which they suspended in the sun to dry. Shark was one of their favorites. It was customary in the ‘forties’ [1840s] for the Pigeon Bay and Port Levy Maoris to carry tons of these dried fish inland, meeting halfway the Natives from Little River laden with eels.
On the summit both parties held a kōrero, and after exchanging their burdens, returned respectively to their homes. To learn more click here. Kamokamo flowers filled with  "?" forcemeat in a light Gin Egg-white Batter with freshly grated "?" to name but a few secret recipes coming soon. 
Recipes for the