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(BABI) BAKAR BATU © Photgrapher: Albertus Vembrianto, Timika

Babi Bakar Batu

Albertus Vembrianto - @vembriwaluyas, Timika

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For the dish (babi) bakar batu a pig is roasted between previously heated stones – not unlike a coal fire. In the central mountain regions of Papua, the burning of stones is not only a matter of cooking but also of ritual, for example to express happiness or grief, or when people begin a new collective work. Pork is one of the main foods in the region.

Pigs are important pets for the tribes in the central mountains of Papua. They are also used as dowry. Stones and wood are first collected in preparation for the dish (babi) bakar batu. They are arranged so that the wood heats the stone until it is red hot. Other ingredients in addition to pork are taro, various tubers, local vegetables and wild forest vegetables. While the stones are being “burned”, the pig is prepared. The meat and the offal must be separated from each other. This is man’s work. Women peel the onions and prepare the vegetables. They sometimes sing together while working. Meanwhile, another group of men prepare a hole in the ground that serves as a cooking area. The “burnt” stones are placed in the hole with a tool and fill the entire area that was previously covered with leaves while a number of other men make pools on the ground. The pool serves as a cooking area. The “burnt” stones are placed in the hole with a tool and fill the entire area that was previously covered with leaves. The vegetables, tubers and meat are then placed there and covered with grass. The arrangement of tubers, vegetables and meat must be performed carefully so that everything is perfectly prepared. Other hot stones wrapped in leaves are now placed on the cooking area until the entire surface is covered. It takes two hours for everything to be cooked. Chili is usually added when the food is served.

The spices are the ingredients themselves: the meat, tubers and vegetables. The blend makes the flavor and taste of this dish unique. Wow! When I was preparing this photo, I immediately got hungry.
 

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