National Dish of Kiribati Palusami
|young taro leaves||36|
|coconut cream / coconut milk||2 cups|
|curry powder||1 tsp.|
|wilted banana leaves||6|
|medium onion (peeled and finely diced)||1|
Palusami is a dish that is common in the Pacific Islands. It is considered the national dish of Kiribati. The two main ingredients of Palusami are coconut milk and taro leaves as coconuts and taro are plentiful in the populated parts of the islands. The coconut cream and taro-filled bundles are traditionally baked in an underground earthen oven.
Directions for Preparing Palusami
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the onions and the coconut cream.
- Add the curry powder to this and mix well, then set aside.
- Remove the thick stems of the taro leaves.
- Dip each leaf for half a minute in a container of hot water; this will make them more pliable.
- Layer six taro leaves together, and ensure that a larger leaf is used as the base.
- Fold the leaves into a cone or cup.
- Pour half cup of the seasoned coconut cream mixture into the taro leaf cone.
- Secure the open top by folding delicately, then place in a banana leaf.
- Fold the banana leaf around the taro cone and secure the top.
- Place the leaf bundle in the center of a breadfruit leaf, wrapping the leaf around the bundle and securing it at the top with toothpicks.
- Wrap the bundle in foil paper to secure it further if needed.
- Place the finished bundles in a baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for thirty (0:30) minutes in moderate heat.
- Remove from the oven and place the bundles on a serving platter; unwrap the bundles to reveal the creamy taro leaf and coconut cream filling.
- Serve Palusami hot or cold.
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