Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poi - Banana Pudding

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.


  1. mmm...my uncle makes this and it's soooo good! gosh, everytime i come on here i'm salivating!:)

  2. You know, it's so tasty that although I wrote "serves 2", I really should have written "2 servings" seeing as I ate the whole thing myself...lol...

  3. Yes... I love reading and trying your recipes. Please keep them coming. I hope to see one for kopai its one of my favs.

  4. Thank you! I'm gonna make kopai soon, promise... Happy cooking!


    This blog is dangerous.


  6. Hey HG Hirl, this is one of those simple, but Oh-so-good Samoan treats, a ea?

  7. Hey thanks for the great recipes :D I made panipopo today, first samoan food I've ever made (my boyfriend wanted me to make it) and it was great, now I just have to try all the other recipes xD

  8. Hi Katie, wonderful that your panipopo worked...please enjoy cooking all the rest of our delicious food, and let me know how it goes.

  9. Panipopos, I found your blog by way of an image that was used by The Cuisines of Hawaii facebook page. If you consented to the use of your image then please disregard this notice. If you did not consent to the use, recipe text and a thumbnail image can be found at the following address and it looks like your copyright signature was cropped out. You will have to click on the More Posts at the bottom in order to see your Poi - Banana Pudding.

  10. Hi Rowena, thank you so much for alerting me to this...I have contacted the owner of the offending post and asked him to credit his source or remove the post...Also told him that as an author, he of all people should know how uncool plagiarism is...I'll wait and see how he responds...thank you again!

  11. Panipopos, I see now on their facebook page that they have given you credit...but what doesn't make sense is that they make it sound as if you sent in material before but never included a link! They wrote: This link works...see what happens when ever the author provides the link! Does not always work like we want it too!

    Are they kidding? And what about the cropped watermark?

  12. Thank you so much Rowena! I have google alerts on for my blog, but it didn't seem to catch his FB infringement...I think this joker is just copying stuff from the internet carte blanche...so uncool!...Wish there was more we could do collectively but let's just hope he knows that we're onto him now...

  13. It's really nice to find a native traditional recipe (wich is rather unknown in my country of Denmark) but with a naturally vegan-gluten-lactose free content - wich can be hard to find! Saw the movie 'Princess Ka'iulani'wich inspired me to google 'poi'. I must definetly try this :-) - thanks!