Kaanga Waru (Maize and Kumara Steamed Pudding)

Seriously… one of my FAVOURITE foods evah. EVAH. Brings back happy memories of stealing corn leaves with my Dad 😀

So, courtesy of Aunty Heni Tibble – here we have the recipe:

kaanga waru

200gm butter
3/4 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 small kumara, grated (You can try changing this for yams or sweet potato, not sure how well it will work though)
2 cups of cornmeal

Mix the dry, Mix the wet, add them together, bag it in cheesecloth and steam for 1.5 – 2 hours.

I’m warning you, it’s HIGHLY addictive.

*If you don’t have a cheesecloth steam-bag, my dad and I used to use the cornleaves, just overlap a couple of them, then fold the leaves over them to enclose and fold the edges in then tie with string or with a strip of another cornleaf. Works a treat (I’ll grab some cornleaves and post pics of this process at some point)

*The eggs and flour aren’t STRICTLY necessary – if you want to go for a gluten free version just exclude them. They do make for a lovely texture though.

*Also, if you want to use less sugar, do so – the kumara really provides a lot of sweetness already. Some of my aunts use as little as a couple of spoons of sugar, and Mum uses none at all.


10 thoughts on “Kaanga Waru (Maize and Kumara Steamed Pudding)”

  1. Been a long time since I have eaten Kanga Waru so guess what? Yep as soon as I get to buy some cornmeal I’m going to make this recipe…..Thanks Aunty Heni for the recipe.

  2. I’ve always wanted this recipe. My nanny would say ‘watch and learn’ when I was young, but I didn’t!. Going back to East Coast was all about the Maori cooking especially ‘Kangawaru’ as this recipe reminds me of Ruatoria. Nanny Daisy made a beautiful Steam Pudding as well. Nanny is from Ruatoria and I know the Tibbles farm was not far.
    Kia ora for the recipe.

    1. I remember going to Gospel Meetings at Kohi’s Tea Rooms in the Main Street of Ruatoria and for Supper we would have Kanga Waru which was cooked in the corn husks.
      That was in the 1960’s.

      1. Kia Ora Tina,

        Manuel is my husbands surname. His family are from North Auckland, Ngapuhi or Ngati Kahu but we all know where the Manuels originally come from ‘The East Coast’.
        My mum, Edith or Toby as they know her by today is from Ruatoria, she lived on Waiomatatini Rd (the pink house) if anyone knows the Butlers nee Sadliers frrom their?.

      2. Kia Ora Rene!! Yes know all those names from home and yes I know the pink house just before you head up the Kaiinanga 🙂 Manuel whanau are my whanau from Rangitukia spent the weekend with Papa John a short while ago out at the ngutuawa talking story. Was lovely 🙂 Nga mihi aroha xoxo <3

  3. Beautiful – I love kaanga waru and now I have a good recipe -that’s me this Easter. Nga mihi nui
    PS) Im also from Ruatoria

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