Vakalolo | Fiji Style Steamed Coconut & Cassava Dessert



Vakalolo, a family favorite, is a soft and sticky cake/pudding that is steamed in banana leaves. The banana leaves impart a flavor that elevates the dish to another level. This simple, yet tasty, dessert/snack is an islander favorite. Vakalolo is easy to just throw together and steam for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. The ingredients are so easy to find on the island! In fact, you can probably find it in the gardens of many "koros" [Fijian communities] and home gardens. I prefer to use fresh cassava and coconut; however, grated coconut and cassava are both readily available in most Asian and Indian stores and they are just as good.

Banana leaves are available at most Asian markets here in Northern California and even the refrigerated ones will suffice. However, if you're living outside of Fiji and can't find banana leaves, you can use foil in its place. It works well, but the dish does leave something "missing." 


This is what you'll need:
  • 2 cups grated cassava/yucca/tapioca/Manihot esculenta
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1/4-1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar* according to taste * 
  • 1 inch ginger, grated 
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream/coconut water (from the coconut you grated) 
  • pinch of salt
  • Fresh banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping

Method: 
  • Grate coconut and cassava
  • Mix all ingredients together, adjusting sugar as necessary. If your mix seems dry, add some coconut water or cream 
  • Wrap into small parcels using about 4 tablespoons of mix in each package
  • Steam for 45 minutes 
  • Serve warm
Here is a visual of how I make it :)










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