Kup Murri

An ancient tradition of cooking food in the ground, the ‘kup murri’ is a Torres Strait Island version of an earth oven and is similar to the ‘dindal’ from North Queensland. Many cultures throughout the pacific use this method to cook food for special occasions, in various in styles and methods such as a ‘lovo’ from Fiji or a ‘hangi’ from Aotearoa.

The perfect way to feed ridiculously large extended families.

Cooking time: 5-6hrs | Feeds: 12 | Difficulty: hard | Spicy: none/optional


You can pic ANY kind of meat you want for your feast. This was a small kup murri made to feed 12 people with food sourced from the local shops.

  • 2 x lamb legs
  • 4 x chickens
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 1kb sweet potatoe
  • 1kg carrots
  • 1 med pumpkin
  • 1 x bulb garlic
  • 3 x teaspoons honey


  • 2 x 10kg bags of wood (or equivalent)
  • Kindling, newspaper and matches to start the fire
  • 10-15 stones around the size of a rock melon
  • Hessian sheets or 2-3 old towels
  • Aluminum foil


IMG_01551. Dig a hole – 30cm deep and 1mtr diameter

2. Place stones neatly in the bottom of the hole

3. put all kindling and wood on top of stone ready to create a blaze.

IMG_01494.  SAFETY FIRST! No flammables around and have water close by.

5. Light the fire!

IMG_01586. Let it all burn down, make sure there is complete supervision.

7. Now go prepare your food while the wood is burning down.

8. Stick a piece of lemon in the chook and wrap in alfoil, feel free to get more creative with your flavors.IMG_01599. Cut holes in your lamb and stick in pieces of garlic.

IMG_016210. Smother with a coating of honey and fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon (optional).

IMG_016811.Go check on the fire and make its breaking down nicely.

IMG_017412. Cut up your vegetables and wrap well in alfoil.

IMG_017513. Wrap up all the meat and veges ready for the fire.

IMG_0172 IMG_017614. Wet some towels or hessian cloth and have them ready.

IMG_018015. Once fire is burned down, place wrapped food on hot coals and stones.IMG_018316. Place wet towels over food and coals, making sure all is covered.

IMG_018717. Once coals are covered slowly add dirt. starting from around the outside and filling to the middle.

IMG_019418. Cover hole with the rest of the dirt, making sure no steam is coming out. We dont want steam escaping.IMG_020619. Leave in the ground for 4 hours 🙂

IMG_021620. When ready, dig up by removing all the dirt off the top of the towels.

IMG_025121. Carefully pull back the towels to expose food.

IMG_026122. Pull out food being careful as it will be very hot.

IMG_027123. Unwrap and serve to eat. Sorry no pics for unwrapping section, too busy and hungry. But here is a photo of the food half eaten.