Kandy’s Kitchen

With Kandy Ta­m­a­gushiku

Island Life - - Contents -

Tasty treats.

As a trained chef, Van­u­atu is a dif­fi­cult, in­spir­ing and re­fresh­ing lo­ca­tion to cook. It is all about cook­ing with the sea­sons, the way it should be, keep­ing it fresh, or­ganic and in­ter­est­ing. The pineap­ples are sweet, the car­rots have unique shapes, the toma­toes are acidic and juicy, and the is­land cab­bage is sticky and for­est green. So, like me, you may be wan­der­ing through the mar­kets look­ing at the end­less bun­dles of man­ioc (cas­sava), Taro and Ku­mala (sweet potato) and think­ing to your­self what are you go­ing to do with that? Well, search some more and you will see that the lo­cals have adapted to selling all the root veg­eta­bles in smaller quan­ti­ties and you will find small-net­ted bags of each, usu­ally on the floor. Try these easy and tasty recipes; you will want to cook them again and again!


The trop­i­cal ver­sion of mashed potato!

White taro (small ones not the large wa­ter taro) I Co­conut cream I Salt.

Wash and peel taro. Cut in half and boil in salted wa­ter un­til cooked. Once the taro has cooked, mash with a masher or in a food pro­ces­sor un­til smooth. Warm the co­conut cream, add to the puree and blend. Taste the puree to see if it needs salt to your lik­ing. Once pureed, use as you would mashed potato with fish, chicken or seafood.


Great for canapés, or a side dish to your meal. Easy to do and prepa­ra­tion time is 10 min­utes.

2 medium-sized man­iocs grated I 1/2tsp salt I 1 egg I 3 leaves of is­land cab­bage I 2 tbsp co­conut oil – to fry with.

Peel the man­ioc and wash it. Grate the man­ioc with a nor­mal grater. Place all the in­gre­di­ents but the oil in a bowl. Mix well. Shape the man­ioc into pat­ties and fry with the co­conut oil on both sides un­til golden brown. Fin­ish off with Kandy’s Kitchen green mango rel­ish and a lit­tle chilli to top it off.

MILKEM KU­MALA (Sweet potato and co­conut cream)

Co­conuts are a won­der­ful fruit and there are three dif­fer­ent stages in the co­conut’s life that mark its uses in the kitchen. The first stage is the green co­conut. Green co­conuts are drink­ing co­conuts. You can drink the sweet juice and the flesh is soft and del­i­cate. When the husk has turned brown, the co­conut be­comes a dry co­conut, the flesh has hard­ened and is ready to eat or be grated to make fresh co­conut milk. The last stage of the co­conut is the Navara, which looks like a dry co­conut but with a stalk grow­ing from it – it is turn­ing into another co­conut tree. The liq­uid in the mid­dle of the co­conut has turned into an ed­i­ble co­conut marsh­mal­low! For this recipe, we use dry co­conuts.

1kg golden ku­mala I 6 dry co­conuts


Peel and wash the ku­mala and cut into quar­ters. Heat oven to 180C. With a co­conut grater (you can buy the blade from any Chi­nese su­per­mar­ket), grate the dry co­conut into a large bowl, add about 500ml of wa­ter to get 500ml of co­conut milk. Squeeze the co­conut and wa­ter with your hands un­til the wa­ter turns into a co­conut cloudy white. Strain the flesh of the co­conut from the liq­uid and you have fresh co­conut milk. Boil the ku­mala in wa­ter un­til just cooked, drain and put into an oven tray. Pour the co­conut milk over the top of the ku­mala. Roast and fin­ish the ku­mala in the oven. The co­conut should have re­duced by half and be caramelized and sticky.

TARO CHIPS with Curry salt

Easy and de­li­cious.

500g white taro (small ones not the large wa­ter taro) I ½ tsp salt I ½ tsp curry pow­der (mild or hot, as you like) I deep fry oil, avail­able in Van­u­atu – soya oil, veg­etable oil, canola oil.

Peel then wash the taro. Slice thinly with a man­dolin, sharp knife or us­ing a peeler. Heat the oil to about 180C and drop the taro chips in­di­vid­u­ally into the hot oil. Cook un­til lightly brown. Mix the salt and curry pow­der to­gether and sprin­kle on the hot taro chips. Serve as a snack

Kandy’s Kitchen range of deli prod­ucts is avail­able at Li­ba­tion, on Nam­batu and at Or­ganic Par­adise in the Van­u­atu Hand­i­craft Mar­kets. For cater­ing and other info, con­tact Kandy on info@kandys-kitchen.com, Ph +678 7735602, www.kandys-kitchen.com.

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