Mum came back with a whole stack of banana leaves, taken from my aunt’s garden. There are so many things that you can do with a stack of banana leaves. I was initially very motivated to make full use of these banana leaves but it turned out to be a case of the dreams being bigger than the determination. Big big dreams to make fabulous stuffs out of this banana leaves but procrastination got the better of me. I had to get down to using the banana leaves soon as some of the banana leaves were losing its vibrant color. We ended up making grilled Tilapia and abok abok sago.
For those who are not familiar with abok abok sago, it is a Malay dessert made of sago (tapioca pearls), grated coconut and palm sugar. These are rich, soft, slightly chewy with sweet centers. Traditionally, these are wrapped using banana leaves. The banana leaves make this dessert extra delicious. You can also steam these in a square baking pan or a muffin pan. My mom always made cones out of banana leaves and I like it that way. There is something about desserts wrapped up in banana leaves. It is tastier and it smells extra good as well. Obviously, it’s classic looking too.
I love how people in the yesteryear’s could make the yummiest of food out of very humble ingredients. A good cook should be able to create good food even with the cheapest or the most basic of ingredients. You do not need Alaskan crabs or the best of vanilla pods to create magic.
- 1 cup pearl sago - washed and drained.
- 200g gula Melaka, chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.5 cups of grated coconut
- Pandan leaves
- Banana leaves
- Soften banana leaves and cut into 12-15cm squares (Depends on how big you want them to be)
- Prepare a steamer half filled with water. Add the Pandan leaves to the water.
- Mix sago, coconut and salt together.
- Roll banana leaf into a cone shape and secure it with a toothpick.
- Place 1 tbsp of mixture in cone. Top it with some gula melaka (about 1tsp) and end it with another tbsp of sago. Secure it with another tooth pick.
- Steam for 15-20 minutes.