Faikakai malimali are traditional Tongan banana dumplings that are served with a sweet coconut syrup. A lovely way to end our meal from the Kingdom of Tonga.
Faikakai is the dumpling and they come all different ways in Tongan cooking. Here are a few of the other names faikakai mei (pounded breadfruit) , faikakai ngou (combination of taro leaves) , faikakai manioke tama (cassava bread) and faikakai topai (basic version of this dessert). I chose the faikakai malimali which is made with ripe bananas. As you can see there are many delicious substitutes.
These dumplings are made with a fairly dry dough because they are boiled in a large pot of water over a medium heat. You use a combination of flour, baking powder, a ripe mashed banana, a bit of vanilla , and sugar.
Once the dumplings are cooked in the boiling water, they are put in a heavy saucepan with some butter and shredded coconut over a gentle heat. The tablespoon-sized balls are coated with the butter and coconut.
To make the sauce you should use a thick coconut cream as opposed to coconut milk and sugar. The sugar is first dissolved until the the sugar boils over low heat. Once the sugar is ready, you add in the thick coconut cream for a delicious dipping sauce for the dumplings. It is like a coconut caramel.
The Tongan people are known for their amazing hospitality and will always make an abundance of food. It is their culture. Have you ever been to the friendly islands?
Looking for more Tongan recipes to enjoy with your Faikakai Malimali (Tongan Banana Dumplings)?
Here are some more Tongan cuisine recipes
What is your favorite Tongan food?
If you would like to learn more about the bucolic country of Tonga, its traditions, food and culture be sure to check out “Our Journey to Tonga” there you will also find more authentic and ancestral recipes like this popular raw fish salad.
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Faikakai Malimali (Tongan Banana Dumplings)
For the Coconut syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup shredded coconut divided
- 1 banana mashed
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup water +/-
- 3 Tbsp butter
For the Coconut Syrup
- Put the sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat and dissolve slowly.
- Just before the sugar reaches the boiling point, add in the thick coconut cream.
- Mix well until the sauce is nice and thick. Set Aside
For the Dumplings
- Bring a large pot of water to boil
- While the water is heating up, in a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 1/2 of the shredded coconut, mashed banana, sugar and vanilla . Mix all ingredients together.
- Start adding in the water until you get a dry dough to form.
- Reduce heat of the boiling water to a simmer
- Roll into tablespoon sized balls and place them in the simmering water.
- Boil the dumplings gently for about 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through. Drain using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large heavy. bottom skillet over low heat.
- Add the other half of the shredded coconut into the butter and cook until it is a golden brown.
- Put the dumplings into the pan and coat them as you turn them.
- Remove and serve them with the coconut syrup, Enjoy!