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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Solomon Islands Recipe of the Week: Cassava Pudding

Yes, yes…its puddin’ time!  After weeks of boring you with curry this and weird fern dishes, I thought it was time to take a walk on the sweet side.  Now, a quick note for the Americans: pudding tends to mean dessert in  commonwealth countries, like the Solomons, not the stuff that Bill Cosby sold us in the 1990s.  

Now, a couple of things on the culinary front that have made me terribly excited this week.  First, I have finally procured a coconut scraper!  For weeks, I have hunted like a mad thing, around the markets and hardware stores for a coconut scraper.  But sadly, my efforts were in vain.  Yet hark!  When one of my delightful coworkers, who is off to Mongolia, announced a moving sale, I moved quickly for one coconut scraper.

Sadly, it was already purchased by Ben (remember him, from Gizo?).  I grabbed it anyway, marveling at its beautiful craftsmanship.  The scraper bit was made in Vanuatu and therefor somehow really special.  I decided then and there, that I must have it and that I would simply hit Ben over the head with it until he gave it to me.

Ben, being the kind of guy he is, gladly gave it to me.  So now, I have a coconut scraper, which I named after the co worker going to Mongolia.  He found it slightly funny, as I have to sit on said scraper to make it work.  
Or something. 

Anyway, am excited about milking coconuts…just trying to figure out where the nipples are…
Okay! Enough thinking about coconut nipples!  Time for the cassava recipe!

Cassava, according to Wikipedia (the well of all knowledge), is the third most common crop in the world.  It can be used for either sweet or savory dishes, or as a door stop. Your choice.  It looks like a root, pretty much, with a wooden veneer. It’s called a tapioca, by the way.  

I usually buy the pudding at the market because I’m lazy and because it makes an excellent breakfast, when heated up with some milk, brown sugar and cinnamon.

So here it is:

·         2 medium sweet cassava
·         2 cups brown sugar
·         eggs beaten
·         3 oz. butter
·         2 cups coconut milk
·         1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (you could use nutmeg too…anything spicy is good).
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ cup warm water

·         Preheat oven to 180 degrees Cel. Or about 350 degrees.  (There is a reason I don’t bake very often; I tend to not be very specific).
·         Wash and grate cassava with a fine grater. (Apparently, I’ve just been told I need to buy a cassava grater….)
·         Combine cassava, coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon and mix
·         Combine all above ingrediants with beaten eggs and mix
·         Slowly add the half cup of warm water…stir…stir some more…stir….keep stirring…
·         Now, put in a greased baking tin.  Cook for at least 30 minutes or until bouncy.

Ah….I’m going to try this and review this recipe, which isn’t terribly local.  Most puddings aren’t made with eggs, milk, cinnamon or sugar because these items are rare-ish in rural villages. 

If you have any questions, concerns, comments, rants, or reviews, please email me at

Lukim ui!