Sunday, March 8, 2009

How to make Blue Drawers

This recipe was sent in recently from 'EH' who prefers to remain anonymous. Thank you. It is for a recipe that I must confess I have never heard of but it sounds delicious. I can't wait to try it. Before I post the recipe though, here is her cover note with some interesting background:
Blue Drawers, Duckunoo, or Tie Leaf are the names that are given to this
boiled pudding of West African origin. Jamaicans are very fond of this starchy,
green banana-based boiled pudding, which is enjoyed as a snack or dessert.

Many people from different parts of the island use these names
interchangeably when entertaining their guests or family members with this fare,
whenever possible. Since I am from the eastern side of Jamaica, these names are
the only ones that I can remember being used to name this delicious treat. And
although these names were common, we were reluctant to use "blue drawers" in
front of adults, fearing we would be admonished to have manners and respect...
because using the word ‘drawers’ is slang for underwear. How this word became
synonymous with a boiled pudding is still a mystery to me. I could speculate
that ‘drawers’ are the banana leaf ties that are used to tie the prepared batter
before it’s added to the boiling water, but that is just my guessing – honestly
I don’t know why the name ‘blue drawers’ came about and I’ve never checked.

With all that said, the taste is what we’re interested in…not history.
Irie? Cool.

Another very important thing about blue drawers is that it is traditionally
made with the banana leaves as the exclusive binder. However if you live in a
place where banana leaves are not available, what do you do? Or even if you live
somewhere where there is an ample supply of banana leaves but you’re not able to
get any immediately…use aluminum foil.
And that’s how we will make this
‘blue drawers’…yah mon!

  • 2 cups Green Banana (grated; remove skins before grating)
  • 1 cup Sweet Potatoes (grated; remove skins before grating)
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Flavoring
  • 4 tbsp. Raisins
  • 2 tbsp. Cooking Oil
  • 4” x 6” Aluminum Foil Sheets
  • Twine or Cord.


  • Use a large mixing bowl and add the grated bananas, sweet potatoes, flour, baking powder, salt, and cooking oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients
  • Warm the coconut milk on low heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla to the coconut milk
  • Add the sweetened coconut milk to the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together until the batter is formed
  • In the meantime bring water to boil in a saucepot
  • Use the wooden spoon to add four to five spoonfuls of the batter to an aluminum sheet
  • Bring the two long sides of the sheet together to hold the batter in place
  • Fold them together to retain the batter inside
  • Fold the two ends of the sheet and tie the blue drawers with the twine, cut the excess twine. (Note: this takes a little practice, so if you don’t get it at first keep trying
  • Repeat this process for the rest of the batter and then add all the blue drawers to the pot of boiling water
  • Let the pudding cook for about 45 minutes
  • When the blue drawers are ready remove them from the boiling water and let them cool to room temperature
  • Remove them from the aluminum sheets and serve as is or with ice cream. You can also eat them with a little honey and ground cinnamon.



  1. This sounds delectable. I am learning so much about Jamaican foods, and the names of the foods are fun, as well.

  2. Glad you liked this one. We will be trying it soon.


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