With the weather getting warmer, it's the perfect time for poi. While Hawaiian poi is made from taro, Samoan poi is made from beautifully ripe bananas. (Incidentally, Maori poi is made from natural fibres and should not be eaten.)
Poi is a chilled dessert that also makes a refreshing snack on a warm day. In olden times, poi was mashed with the hands and mixed with cool drinking water. Our version, updated for the 21st century, uses a blender and ice. But feel free to use your hands, or even your feet, like the French used when stomping grapes for wine.
OK, just kidding about the feet. What do you think we are? Savages?
Some people use lautipolo/laumoli to flavour this, but I find that the lemon zest adds a nice texture to the poi. Also, the sugar is optional, but if you have really sweet bananas, it's not necessary. Bon appetit!
Poi (serves 2)
1 lb ripe (500g) peeled ripe bananas
zest of 1 lemon or 2 lautipolo/laumoli
½ can (200ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
sugar to taste
ice for serving
Mash or blend the bananas until smooth.
Add the lemon zest or lautipolo/laumoli.
Add the coconut milk and vanilla. Mix until well-combined.
Taste for sweetness.
Add sugar if desired.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Immediately before serving, stir the discoloured top layer into the rest of the poi. Serve over ice in small bowls or wide-mouth glasses.
* If you find your poi is too thick, add ½ cup of cold water to dilute it.
* Keep refrigerated for up to a day, but best eaten with a few hours.