Think Samoa and I think of beautiful pacific beaches and rugby, but I really had no idea about its cuisine before embarking on this next recipe. Turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that coconut figures prominently in many dishes; so I decided to give this coconut-based Palusami a go.
A more authentic version of this recipe would use taro leaves, but spinach is deemed to be a good substitute if that is not an ingredient that is readily available to you. Also the recipe I adapted this from featured corned beef, but I have replaced this with tofu. If you want to get a feel for what a really authentic Palusami looks like, then check out this video on YouTube where coconut is wrapped in leaf pouches and baked underground. I wanna cook outside like that!!!
I enjoyed cooking and eating this dish, although it was a little on the sweet side for me. In researching this recipe I also stumbled across some really tempting Samoan desserts which I might have to try out now!
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
- 400g pack of tofu
- 200g baby leaf spinach
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cans coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the tofu pieces: press out the excess water; cut into cm square pieces; and gently stir fry in a little olive oil for 10-15 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Alternately layer a casserole dish, with spinach leaves, onion and tofu pieces, until the dish is full to the top.
- Add the coconut milk, topping up with a little water if necessary, so that the liquid covers the other layered ingredients.
- Cover and bake for 55 minutes. Season to taste and then serve.
Acknowledgement: I adapted this recipe from one I found on Sasha Martin’s ‘Global Table Adventure’ blog.