Sydneysiders used to enjoying the food of Italy, China and other parts of the world, today tried out a cuisine that’s much closer to home, when the City of Sydney hosted an Aboriginal dindal at Centennial Parklands.
City staff, in collaboration with the Centennial Park Trust and Waverley Council, dug a number of holes at the 125-year-old parklands to create a dindal, or earth oven, which used hot rocks to slow cook meat and vegetables wrapped in leaves.
About 300 people attended the kunbal, or celebration, and enjoyed an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, didgeridoo and dance before feasting on the beef, chicken, lamb, potatoes, pumpkin and pineapple, which had been cooked in the dindal for six hours.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the free celebration was held to mark NAIDOC Week, which runs until Sunday.
“This wonderful outdoor feast showed off a great, but little known, aspect of the world’s oldest continuously living culture,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Through events like the annual NAIDOC in the City and our Eora Journey program, we’re encouraging a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.”
The dindal is a cooking style from Far North Queensland that uses hot rocks buried in a pit to heat, roast, steam and bake food all at once. City Youth Development Officer, David Beaumont, said local children and young people helped prepare, cook and serve the food.
“This dindal in the middle of Sydney is a great opportunity to teach young people about traditional methods of cooking, while also showing them how important it is to share their own culture and stories with others,” Mr Beaumont said.
“Last year we created a traditional Torres Strait Islander kup murrie, which is a similar method of cooking. It was great to be allowed to dig a traditional cooking pit in the middle of Centennial Parklands and to share our mother earth food with others.”
The dindal was located near the Learning Centre at Centennial Parklands and was launched by a Welcome to Country and traditional smoking ceremony. Sean Ryan, a proud Kuku Nyunkal man from Far North Queensland, provided guidance on how best to create and cook in the dindal.
For more information visit sydneynaidoc.com.au
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