Banana in Coconut Milk
When I was traveling in Southeast Asian countries, I discovered a simple delicious and healthy dessert. Banana in coconut milk is a classic dessert in Southeast Asia but a little bit different in each country. The base is banana and coconut milk. In Thailand I tasted it with tapioca. In Malaysia I tried this dessert with pandan leaf. During my teaching yoga in Borneo, I had this dessert for my breakfast nearly every day. One day the chef prepared the banana in coconut milk that was purple. It became purple by adding a butterfly pea flower that was growing there in the garden. That was really delicious. Butterfly pea flower has various benefits for our health. It is effective against stress and anxiety, good for heart, eye, and brain health, improves blood circulation, and is rich in antioxidants.
Banana in coconut milk became my favorite breakfast after my morning yoga practice. It is light, nourishing, and simple. Every time I prepare it to my own taste and so it is never same. Sometimes I replace tapioca with chia seeds. I mix vanilla, ashwagandha, or maca inside. On the top I put a little of coconut cream and sprinkle it with cinnamon, grated coconut, sesame seeds, or I also added matcha. I’ve tried it with lots of different combinations, and always it is yummy.
This dessert that I tasted in Southeast Asian countries was made of homemade coconut milk. It is fresh and keeps the unique aroma and vibrant flavor. I usually buy a brown coconut and make my own at home. That is the best and healthiest. If I buy coconut milk, I chose one that contains only coconut cream (70%) and water and is packed in cartons or BPA-free cans.
There are thousands of varieties of bananas in the world. In each country I tasted this dessert with different kinds of bananas, such as lady finger banana, Pisang Awak, pisang Raja,… The world wide and most common bananas are the Cavendish bananas. So when I am in my home country, I use only this kind.
This recipe is simple to make:
- coconut milk
- tapioca (choose the smallest pearls you can find) or chia
- coconut sugar or maple syrup (to your taste)
- pandan leaf, vanilla, cinnamon, grated coconut, sesame seeds (to your taste)
In Asian countries people usually don’t measure the quantity. They put ingredients according to their taste. And I do the same.
I recommend you to use ripe bananas. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the dessert. In this case I don’t use any sugar or syrup because it will make the natural sweetness and aroma of the bananas.
- Soak the tapioca pearls in a cup of water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Cut bananas into thick slices.
- Bring the coconut milk to a gentle boil in a saucepan. When boiling, add the sliced bananas, (pandan leaf, vanilla), chia or tapioca. Stir gently and boil about 5 minutes till bananas reach desired softness. If you need, add some sugar. If you prefer a thinner texture add more coconut milk.
- Sprinkle grated coconut, sesame seeds, cinnamon before serving.
You can add a variety of seasoning to your liking, like pandan leaves, cinnamon,…add whatever you like best.
This dessert is usually served warm or at room temperature.