Faikakai malimali {banana dumplings}

Faikakai malimali {banana dumplings}

It’s been a while since I made some dumplings so I’ve dragged out a recipe I found online well over a year ago, and have only just decided to give it a burl. I’ve never been to Tonga, let alone eat the food, but the recipe for faikakai topai grabbed my attention on that particular website; even moreso the banana (malimali) version of these dumplings.

There’s really nothing to making them as they can be whipped up in no time. Honestly speaking, my favourite part to this dish is the gorgeous and thick caramel-like coconut syrup. The dumplings themselves are a bit heavy, filling and nothing special without the syrup. I’ve added desiccated coconut, sugar and vanilla to the batter as it was virtually flavourless on its own, even with the mashed banana.

Faikakai malimali recipe

faikakai malimali

makes 18 dumplings – recipe adapted from here


lolo (syrup):

  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 200 ml coconut cream
Put the sugar into a small saucepan over low heat and allow it to slowly dissolve. Before it boils add the coconut cream and stir until it is thick. Set aside.

topai (dumplings):

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2/3 cups ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut, extra, to coat
  • 2 tbsp butter, to coat
Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
In the meantime combine the flour, baking powder, 2/3 cup desiccated coconut, banana and vanilla paste in a mixing bowl. Bring all ingredients together and gradually add the ½ cup water to form a fairly dry dough. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and drop them into the pot of simmering water, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom by creating a whirlpool with the water. Gently boil the dumplings for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the extra 2/3 cup coconut and stir until lightly golden. Drop in the dumplings to coat well. Remove carefully and serve with the coconut syrup.
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