Culinary Conversation: More than just cooking

There’s something special about cooking with lots of

Tonight we’ve been making naan karau — a buffalo stew with vegetables — with around eight to 10 people in the indoor and outdoor kitchens, sitting in between and outside. Some of us have been cooking (I’m learning how to cut buffalo, fry chips and cook over a fire) and others…cleaning as we go.

I’ve always loved cooking alone but cooking in company both makes conversation more interesting…and is much more practical!


I admire Berta for cooking multiple parts of plant, like papaya flowers which are fried with garlic and other greens for a bitter yet popular dish here.

I know it has come from the necessity that growing produce in small country such as Timor Leste brings, as well as making optimal use of what you grow or buy from the market.

Still, the number of times I throw away leaves of beetroot, celery – and I don’t even know whether you can eat these – shows me I’ve to learn from the Timor yet.

~ Heidi x

One Reply to “Culinary Conversation: More than just cooking”

  1. Oh yes! I have discovered that if you roast beetroot leaves, with some salt & pepper, they come out crunchy like chips! Such a great texture! And the stems are nice & soft & full of flavour.
    Celery leaves, I use in cooking for soups, great for making with the chicken stock. Also really good to juice in your juicer with apple, ginger & orange etc.
    We are in Australia such a throw-away society. It is so much better to use the whole animal or whole plant in a variety of ways, but this can be difficult when you live on your own.
    I am glad you are enjoying cooking with many people – it does go to show how community cooking can make the food go round and not be wasteful. And to try many delicious ways of cooking things! Yum!

Leave a Reply to Alex Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *