If you’re a Papua New Guinea, you will know what this is and if we’re correct, you wouldn’t mind having one now.
This is an image of a sago banana porridge. There really isn’t an official name for it but it’s a traditional dish of the people from the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. But that doesn’t mean only the Gulf people prepare and eat this, it’s a dish loved by many Papua New Guineans regardless of where they come from.
If this food looks foreign to you, you might be asking “What does it taste like?”. “Delicious” would be the answer but that doesn’t exactly answer your question, does it?
But firstly, the ingredients. There are 5 main ingredients, which are: Sago, water, coconut milk and bananas.
You can have this dish without the banana but it’s the inclusion and taste of the banana that makes it more of a dessert type dish. The sago is placed in a pot on an oven to let it heat. The water is than added not very long after and stirred until it turns into a thick, jelly type mixture. If you touch this mixture with your fingers, it can be sticky.
Once the sago blends well with the water, the bananas are mashed an added to it. The content is stirred until the banana too blends into the other two ingredients and the content will remain sticky and jelly type. Some stir it until the whole content boils while others stir until all content blends in together.
That’s pretty much the end of the cooking instructions. To top it off, coconut milk is added to the mixture. The milk softens the texture and with that coconut taste, it’s even more delicious.
So coming back to the question of what it tastes like? There’s a starchy taste to it especially from the sago but the banana is the sweetener in it. The coconut milk too is a sweetener and provides that rich coconut taste in your mouth.
It doesn’t cost a lot. K20 for the whole lot of the ingredients. A bag of sago costs about PGK10 so it’s not an expensive recipe.
The bananas in PNG are very tasty especially those sold at the market by locals.
You can buy the coconut powder in packets to make the coconut milk but we can guarantee that the taste isn’t quite the same as the “real” coconuts you buy at the market and scrape to make the milk. It’s more natural and has a much richer text and not to mention fresh taste to the milk.
Papua New Guineans don’t actually have after dinner type schedule but the recipe is appropriate a dessert. Again, it can be eaten as a snack any time of the day.
We posted a photo of this on Instagram so you can get a picture of how Papua New Guineans love this sago/banana porridge.