A taste of Traditional Maori Cuisine
Here is an easy-to-make recipe giving you a culinary insight into polynesian cuisine.
In french Polynesia, there are various species of bananas with different appearances and uses. The Rio and Hamoa are very sweet bananas usually consumed raw. In contrast, the fe’i, is the sort eaten cooked. The fe’i banana is also called the plantain banana in other countries. You could certainly find it in the main fruit markets of most countries. Polynesians manage to take advantage of this cooking banana by incorporating it in the poe preparation. The poe is a sweet and tasty accompaniment, as a dessert or side dish, and an essential dish in the ma’a tahiti ; the traditional polynesian festive meal.
Banana Poe (6 people)
• 8 plantain bananas
• 1 large banana leaf (or greaseproof paper)
• 250g of cassava starch
• 5 cl of oil
• 60g of brown sugar
• 1 vanilla bean
• 25 cl of coconut milk
1. First, wash and cook the bananas (in their skin) in a large pan of boiling water for 15 minutes.
2. Prepare the banana leaves : run the leaf over the fire to soften it. Gently, brush with oil. The banana leaves are used to envelope the poe mixture.
3. Once the bananas are cooked, peel and puree them .
4. Prepare the poe by mixing the ingredients listed : for 2 parts of banana puree you have to add 1 part of cassava starch and ½ part of brown sugar. (Measure the sugar proportion to your taste). Add the inside of vanilla bean to the preparation.
5. Place the preparation in the banana leaf that you will place in another lightly oiled dish.
6. Cook it in the oven for 45 minutes at 360 °F. Do not be alarmed by the burnt and toasted odor, this is due to the banana leaves getting singed. It is hardly means that the mixture is cooked.
For a more artful presentation, unfold the banana leaf and put the poe in another and drizzle with coconut milk.
This delicious accompaniment should be eaten slightly warm. It is a rich source of nutrients as vitamins and mineral salts that should be consumed in moderation because the digestion could be « difficult ». The poe could be savored as a dessert or as an accompaniment for a fish dish. Without doubt, it will let your senses travel as far as the Pacific Ocean.
Just for a pleasant change, you can prepare the poe replacing the banana with papaya or pumpkin .