Sunday, February 7, 2010
Home made stoves
I have a very interesting thing to show you.... . I always calling up an aunt of mine to find out about maldivian recipes and so she treated me a very visual one. Before I go to the recipe I decided to blog about the stove.
As you know or dont know, maldives is made up of small islands. We travel to each island by boat, There are families and freinds living on other islands. My fanily lives in Male' which is the capital, a small but over populated place where every one else comes to try and get a job, or to get their kids better schooling. But My dad is originally from an island known as kulhudhufushi is which situated about 12 hour boat ride or 45 minutes by plane distance roughly. Its at the nothern end of Maldives. His 7 younger siblings live with their families and the rest of relatives. I spent a few childhood holidays there and most recently lived there for 6 months. Its very peaceful and quite homey, everyone knows you and treats you like family sometimes a little too familier and nosy but still its quite peaceful.
Ok before you think I am going no where and why the long explanation this is why, the stoves that they use is quite interesting. Most kitchens are seperate from the house, even my own when I was little but it changed to a more modern one later on. My aunt's kitchen back in kulhudufushi is like a little house. She has got herself a brand new modern kitchen but had requested my cousin to build her a smaller , maldivian style one at the back of her house. Her old kitchen is very interesting. Its like a little doll house , just enough to fit her in along with stove and a few items. Now the stove is what I want to talk to you about. The old maldivian stoves are built in stoves. But the way its built and made depends one the person and island , i have seen only my aunts ones and they are quite the same . So this is what she said she did, she first burnt old branches and dried coconut shells and leaves and the white ash you get as the end result is made into a paste using water and is built on the flour of thekitchen or sometimes an elevated platform sort of thing. Then its dried and used.
There is a whole one one side and another on top to put the pots for cooking. To build the fire they use dried twigs, dried coconut shells and husks, and dried coconut palm leaves. I actually enjoyed sitting at the door way watching her build the fire and cook. Even when I was small , my mum had one at home, but ours was a huge fireplace sort of place, with iron tripod stands to hold the pots and the fire was built under it. THere werent ovens , so when it comes to baking the fire is slowed and to cook the bottom and then to cook the bottom , burning hot coconut shells are placed over a metal lid is placed over the pan . It gives a nice smokey flavour too. These old stoves are still around I think, cos I have seen them in kulhudhufushi and judging from my aunt's picture they are still there.
Hope I havent bored anyone hehe, Have a lovely weekend