Primitive technology at its best! Watch as this village resident makes an underground stove using digging tools such as shovels and mud. He starts by clearing a patch of grass to expose the raw earth underneath. He then proceeds to map out the compartments of his stove – a small circle at one end, a rectangle like shape in the middle and a passage at the opposite end. After they have been dug deep enough, he then uses his shovel to break through the dirt that separates them to create a passageway. By adding water to the dirt, he is able to create a sticky yet pliable mud mix that is used to coat the inside walls of the oven. Watch as he smooths it to perfection as if smoothing concrete when building a house. Small dry branches are then lit and placed under the middle opening where the pot is then placed on top to begin the cooking process. A simple dish of curried meat and rice is prepared for him and his family.
Ever thought about what you would do if electricity and gas – for some reason or another -became unattainable or obsolete, then this post is for you. It’s daunting to think that you would have to learn new ways to complete those energy-intensive tasks such as cooking and washing. In all actuality, those “new ways” would really just be primitive techniques that our ancestors and indigenous peoples have used to get by. Let’s take the underground oven for example, it provides a slow, even release of heat within a sealed enclosure to cook food. This ensures the food’s natural juices and flavours are locked in for moist, succulent results.
Here are some steps to help you create your own version of an underground oven:
1. Find an area free of dry bush or other fire hazards and dig a hole about 2 feet wide and 3 feet long by 1 foot deep.
2. Now line both the bottom and sides with fairly flat rocks. Be careful not to use rocks from stream beds as they tend to explode when exposed to extreme heat due to their high moisture content.
3. Upon “tiling” the floor and walls of your pit, now it’s time to construct a small fire to heat the rocks. Lay the blaze to heat the length and width of the pit, keeping the flames small. Use small twigs if you have to as they will produce the hottest and longest flame.
4. Allow the fire to burn for 45 minutes to an hour before it dies down. The pit will stay how while you gather the food.
5. Now that you have your food and the pit’s stone lining is heated, go ahead and place your pot, pan or even bare food on top to begin cooking. The stones are hot enough to fry an egg or even give a nice sear on meat. This also means it can burn your food easily so be cautious or so as some people would, and wrap the food in insulating material such as fresh grass or other green foliage.
Credit: Village Food Secrets