Lovo, a traditional Fijian cooking technique, has been passed down through generations, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the islands. This unique method involves cooking food in an underground oven, resulting in mouth-watering flavours and tender, succulent dishes. Let’s delve into the origins, ingredients, preparation, and step-by-step instructions to cook lovo.

Origins and Significance:

Lovo has been an integral part of Fijian culture for centuries. It originated from the ancient practice of earth oven cooking, which was used by indigenous communities across the Pacific. In Fiji, lovo holds great significance as it is often associated with celebrations, gatherings, and special occasions. It brings people together, fostering a sense of community and kinship.


Lovo offers a versatile cooking experience, allowing for a variety of ingredients to be used. Common choices include chicken, fish, pork, root vegetables like taro and cassava, and even breadfruit. These ingredients are seasoned with a blend of aromatic herbs, spices, and marinades, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk. The combination of flavours creates a tantalizing taste that is unique to Fijian cuisine.

Preparation Time:

Preparing for a lovo requires some time and planning. It is recommended to allocate around 3-4 hours for the entire process, including food preparation, fire preparation, and cooking time. The slow cooking method ensures that the flavours infuse deeply into the food, resulting in a delicious and tender outcome.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Cook Lovo:

  1. Dig the Pit: Start by digging a pit in the ground, approximately 3 feet deep and wide enough to accommodate your food.
  1. Fire Preparation: Place firewood in the pit and light it up. Allow the fire to burn until you have a bed of hot coals.
  1. Food Preparation: While the fire is burning, prepare your ingredients. Clean and season the meat and vegetables with your preferred herbs, spices, and marinades.
  1. Wrapping: Wrap the seasoned food in banana leaves or foil to retain moisture and protect it from dirt.
  1. Bed of Coals: Once the fire has burned down to a bed of hot coals, carefully place the wrapped food in the pit on top of the coals to get closer to cooking. 
  1. Covering and cooking: cover the pit with banana leaves or metal sheet to trap the heat. Finally, cover the pit with soil to seal in the heat and create an airtight environment.

7. Let the food cook in the lovo for several hours, typically around 3-4 hours, depending on the size and type of food.

  1.  After the cooking time is up, carefully remove the soil and uncover the food.
  1.  Enjoy the delicious, smoky flavours of your lovo-cooked meal with family and friends!

Alternatively you can try pot lovo as well: 

Embrace the Flavours of Fiji: A Guide to Cooking Pot Lovo


Pot lovo offers a convenient and equally delicious alternative to the traditional earth oven cooking method. In this article, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of cooking pot lovo, allowing you to savour the authentic flavours of Fiji in the comfort of your own kitchen.


To create a mouth-watering pot lovo, gather ingredients such as marinated chicken, fish, pork, root vegetables like taro and cassava, and aromatic herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, and coconut milk. These ingredients will infuse your pot lovo with the rich flavours of Fijian cuisine.

Preparation Time:

Preparing for a pot lovo requires approximately 2-3 hours, including food preparation and cooking time. This efficient cooking method allows you to enjoy the flavours of Fiji without the need for an outdoor fire pit.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Cook Pot Lovo:

  1. Marinating the Ingredients: Begin by marinating your choice of meat and vegetables with a blend of herbs, spices, and coconut milk. Allow the ingredients to marinate for at least 30 minutes to enhance the flavours.
  1. Heat the Pot: Place a large pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.
  1. Layering the Ingredients: Layer the marinated meat and vegetables in the pot, ensuring even distribution. Start with the meat at the bottom for optimal cooking.
  1. Cover and Simmer: Once all the ingredients are layered in the pot, cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low and let the pot lovo simmer gently for about 1-2 hours. This slow cooking process allows the flavours to meld together beautifully.
  1. Check for Doneness: After the cooking time, check the doneness of the meat and vegetables by inserting a fork or knife. If they are tender and cooked through, your pot lovo is ready to be enjoyed.
  1. Serve and savour: Carefully remove the lid and serve your pot lovo with steamed rice or traditional Fijian accompaniments like Dalo (taro) or cassava. Allow yourself to savour the delightful flavours and embrace the essence of Fiji in every bite.
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