Nagasari is a delicious coconut-flavoured dessert. The dish is served in little packets on banana leaves, which are then unwrapped to reveal the soft white coconut cake that is to be eaten. The cake is made using a combination of rice flour, coconut milk, and a small quantity of tapioca flour to enable it to thicken more easily.
Usually, the cakes are stuffed with an ingredient of choice, usually bananas or corn. Here, I’ve used bananas, or ‘pisang’ in Indonesian, to make the classic nagasari pisang – my favourite! The coconut-flour mixture is first cooked, and the wrapped in banana leaves along with the other
This dessert can be a little tricky to make for first-timers, so here are some tips to help you through the process:
Choosing your bananas
There are numerous types of bananas. Some are meant for cooking, and these are usually large, fairly dense, and not too sweet, like plantains. Others are soft and sweet, and can be eaten raw.
For nagasari, choose a banana that’s sweet but not too soft, with a slight sourness to it. Usually, pisang raja or pisang kepok, which are found throughout Southeast Asia, are used. For this recipe, I’ve used pisang rastali (this is what it’s called in Singapore), a sweet banana that’s sometimes used for frying. I’ve used this primarily because the supermarket was short of suitable bananas; you can choose any banana available that’s sweet and firm.
Cooking the flour with coconut milk
For this dish, coconut milk is often diluted slightly with water to temper the taste, so that the taste of the bananas don’t get overshadowed by that of the coconut. I haven’t done this for this recipe.
Cooking the flour-coconut milk mixture is similar to bubur sumsum. The most important thing when cooking is to ensure that the mixture solidifies somewhat, and turns into a smooth, sticky paste that’s coagulated into one giant ball. To do this, make sure you keep the heat very low and stir continuously, stopping only when the mixture begins to exude coconut oil. When this happens, stop immediately.
Wrapping the banana leaves
After cutting the banana leaves, place a tablespoon or two of the coconut-flour mixture in the middle of each leaf. Place the bananas in the centre of the mixture, and then cover the bananas with the flour. Then wrapped tightly; you can wrap it any way you like, but the most important thing is to make sure nothing is exposed. Then steam it.
When done, remove from the steamer and let it cool.Print
Nagasari pisang is a classic Indonesian sweet snack consisting of little packets of banana leaves that contain steamed cakes of coconut milk thickened with flour, stuffed with sliced bananas.
- 100g rice flour
- 20g tapioca flour
- 30g sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 400ml coconut milk
- 4 small ripe bananas
- 4 banana leaves
- Mix the rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, and coconut milk in a large cooking pan.
- Stir until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Heat the cooking pan over low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture coagulates into a smooth, solid ball, about 15 min. Turn off the stove.
- Meanwhile, slice each banana into two, and then into approx 2-3″ long pieces.
- Put aside 4 banana leaves, and cut into squares approximately 12” by 12”. Put a smaller piece of banana leaf about 4″ x 4″ in the middle of each larger leaf.
- In the centre of each banana leaf, place a tablespoon of the coconut/flour mixture.
- Take a piece of the banana and place it in the centre of the banana leaf, on top of the mixture.
- Press the banana into the flour. If any part of the banana is exposed, cover with flour.
- Cover the banana/flour by folding the banana leaf tightly, making sure the filling isn’t exposed, to form a little banana leaf packet.
- Repeat this for all the banana leaves.
- Steam the banana leaf packets for 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate to enjoy them cold!
- You can then proceed to eat Nagasari hot, or keep it in the fridge and have it cold. In the fridge, it can last up to a week.
Keywords: Non-spicy, Tapioca, rice flour