Huge gratitude and credit to our friends Sumeet Nair and Anita Goubert for sharing this flavourful recipe with us. You can find a plethora of inspiring recipes from Sumeet with his latest project Yummefy.
It’s so fun to have such a creative and food-loving friend. Sumeet’s work is artful and professional and most importantly – truly tried and tested to turn out well for home cooks.
This recipe comes together easily once you’ve made the rice and procured some banana leaves. Here in Canada, we can find them in the frozen section of international foods grocers. Though not like fresh, they still work well and infuse flavour as they should.
Enjoy the recipe straight up or with a scoop of whip cream or rum and butter ice cream. We think it would be great to make these ahead and pack them in a cooler for a camping trip. Imagine, pulling them out to roast over the hot embers of a campfire. Enjoying a sweet taste of Puducherry local South Indian Creole food wherever you are globally? What a great way to create some happy campers.
Grilled Bananas and Sticky Rice Packets Recipe
Yields 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes plus soaking time
Cooking Time 60 minutes including time to wrap packets
Total 75 minutes
Equipment: pressure cooker or saucepan, banana leaves, kitchen twine, mallet
½ cup (about 100 grams) black rice
1 large pinch salt
1 cup grated coconut
2 Tablespoons ghee
4 Tablespoons powdered (icing) sugar
banana leaves, spine removed, cut into 8 12-inch x 6-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ghee for greasing banana leaves
4 medium bananas, ripe, peeled, cut in half then each half sliced lengthwise into two
Soak the rice in 2 cups of water overnight. The rice should expand to about 1 cup. Drain. Set aside.
Place a large pressure cooker over medium high heat. Add 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and the drained rice. Seal the lid, bring to full pressure over high heat, then reduce heat to very low and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the cooker to cool before opening it. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, bring the rice to a boil in a saucepan on high heat on your stovetop, reduce to a simmer and cook until soft – around 1 hour.
Add the grated coconut, 2 Tablespoons ghee, and powdered sugar to the cooked rice. Mix well and set aside.
Grease one side of each banana leaf with ghee. Place 2 sliced banana halves next to each other in the center of the greased side of one banana leaf rectangle. Spoon a ¾-inch layer of sticky black rice on to the banana, and then top with other 2 sliced halves of the banana.
Fold the banana leaf over the stuffed banana to make a packet. Wrap with another banana leaf and tie with kitchen twine (soaked in water) in at least two places to secure the packet (or strip some twine from the banana leaf spine – also soaked in water – and use that to tie the packet). Repeat for remaining bananas to make a total of 4 stuffed packets.
Use a mallet to gently flatten the packets, taking care not to tear the banana leaves.
Place the wrapped bananas on a metal grill over a wood fire and grill, turning as needed, till the banana leaves are charred on both sides – this should take about 5 minutes over direct heat and then another 15 minutes over low indirect heat. A charcoal or gas grill can be used in case a wood fire is not available.
Enjoy the grilled bananas in their packets allowing guests to open them at the table.