Saturday, November 29, 2008

Making sago

When I was in the village, two days in a row we went to the bush, next to the river, to make sago. Firstly the men cut down a sago tree and then they smashed the inside of it to make a pulp a bit like wood chips or sawdust.

Next it is the women’s work to process it all to make sago flour. Firstly we put the sago pulp into a pot and add water. Then we squeezed the water out of the pulp and put the pulp in another bowl, and keep the water which is now orange from the sago pulp and repeat the process two more times with the same batch of pulp.

Next we poured the water over a piece of hessian and rubbed the hessian to make the sago flour go through to the basin below.

Here I am rubbing the hessian – it is easy work, but your skin starts to wear out after doing lots of it. There was so much pulp from one tree!

We ended up with a basin full of orange water, but the sago flour settles at the bottom of the basin.

They empty the water and allow the flour to dry out. Here is a photo of the completed product that they gave us.

There are so many different ways of cooking sago. You can mix it with banana or with coconut and fry it or boil it or cook it on the fire or make soup out of it. I had a lot of fun experimenting with it and I haven’t mastered cooking it yet. I hope to play with it a bit more and see if I can make anything really wonderful.

The various kinds of cooked sago that I ate were nice. It is a bit gelatinous (or ‘gooey’) and chewy, but it was definitely edible and not repulsive at all.

Here are two things made out of sago that our family gave us. I tried making the kind that is on the right one time.


robyn said...

hi Julie, I'm enjoying your blogs and hearing all that you have done in the 5 weeks. I would love to give your sago a taste. Looking forwards to your next blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Julie for explaining how the sago is collected and processed. I had no idea it was such a huge undertaking. How often would the villagers need to go and gather such quantities? Hope you are collating all these recipes for writing your own PNG Cook Book! Love from Bev & John