Jamaican Blue Draws

This amazing Jamaican blue draws, also know as duckunu/duckunoo, or tie-a-leaf, is a delicious treat, made from cornmeal, sweet potato, green banana, freshly grated coconut, coconut milk, and a blend of spices, wrapped in green banana leaf and boiled for a moist and incredibly tasty pudding. 

Jamaican Blue Draws

This Jamaican Blue Draws recipe has been one of my childhood favorites. My mom made it often, using sweet potatoes and green bananas from our garden. Other childhood favorite recipes are Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding, Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge, and Jamaican Rice And Peas.

Blue draws wrapped in fresh banana leaves on a wooden cutting board

Jamaican Blue Draws

Jamaican blue draws originated from West Africa. It was called dokunu in Ghana by the Asante tribe. This method of cooking corn dough in banana leaves was brought to the Caribbean by the slaves.

The Jamaican version is sweetened, so it is served as a dessert or snack. In Trinidad, it is called paime (payme), and conkies in Barbados. Recipes are mainly made with cornmeal, but green banana, sweet potato, pumpkin, yam, plantain, cassava, and other root vegetables are added depending on where you are from. Flour, coconut milk, and spices are also added. 

My easy blue draws recipe is not only vegan, but is also gluten-free. I have this simple shortcut of a method to prepare the grated banana, potato, by using a blender to prepare the coconut milk, sweet potato, and green banana. I don't like to grate using a box grater so I use my high-speed blender or food processor instead.

How To Grate Coconut For Jamaican Blue Draws Without A Box Grater?

  1. Make sure to buy dried coconut without cracks, or mold. Shake coconut and make sure you feel the movement of the coconut water. The water keeps the coconut fresh.
  2. Using a sharp knife or screwdriver, make a puncture in one of the eyes of the coconut. The eye is usually one of 3 dark circles at the top of the coconut. 
  3. Place a glass jar or large cup over the eye, invert the coconut and drain the coconut water into the container. Set aside to drink.
  4. Using a hammer, hit the coconut and rotate to crack the shell of the coconut open. You can also place the coconut into a plastic bag and hit it against a hard surface to crack the shell.
  5. Insert a dull knife in between the coconut and the shell and separate the white flesh, repeat until you have removed all the white flesh. Discard the shell.
  6. Cut the flesh up your coconut so that they are in small pieces. 
  7. Place the coconut pieces into a food processor and process. Scrape the sides down and process again until the flesh is into small pieces like that of a box grater.
  8. To prepare coconut milk, add about 3 cups of water and process in a blender. Strain using a nut-milk bag, fine-meshed strainer or cheesecloth. Reserve 1 cup of the remaining coconut grated coconut to add to the blue draws.

Jamaican blue draws recipe step by step

Jamaican Blue Draws Ingredients

  • Cornmeal - The base for most blue draws recipes. Fine-medium ground cornmeal works best.
  • All-purpose gluten-free flour - I used gluten-free flour but any traditional flour will work.
  • Cane Sugar - I used organic cane sugar but coconut sugar can be used as a substitute.
  • Cinnamon - Added to boost flavor but you can substitute with your favorite spice. If you don't use cinnamon or are allergic to it, then a combination of cardamon and coriander makes a great substitute.
  • Nutmeg - A traditional spice that boosts the flavor. A little goes a long way.
  • Salt - Balances the overall flavor.
  • Coconut Milk - You can use canned coconut milk or make your own from the flesh/meat of a dried whole coconut, which can be purchased from Caribbean or Hispanic grocery stores.
  • Green Banana - My mom only made her duckunu with green bananas, so I'm partial, but you can actually leave it out.
  • Sweet Potato - Adds a great flavor to your blue draws, reminiscent of sweet potato pudding. Make sure you use the Caribbean sweet potato found in Caribbean or Hispanic stores. It has white or cream flesh with red skin
  • Vanilla - Also boosts the flavor of your blue draws. You could substitute with 1/2 teaspoon almond flavor for a different flavor profile. 
  • Raisins - The addition of raisins is totally optional
  • Green Banana Leaves - If you are in a tropical location where freshly picked banana leaves are available, then that is wonderful. If not, then you can find frozen banana leaves in the Caribbean or Hispanic grocery stores. Banana leaves give your blue draws a unique flavor.
  • Baker's Twine - Used for tying the parcel of blue draws. You can also use pieces of banana bark.

 

How To Make Jamaican Blue Draws?

  1. Prepare the banana leaf by cutting along the midvein of the leaf and discarding it. Cut the leaf into equal rectangular pieces. Wilt or quail banana leaves by passing them over an open flame, or bring a large pot of water to boil and dip the leaves in the boiling water until they are wilted. Use a pair of tongs to remove them, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. Add coconut milk, green banana, sweet potato, and vanilla to a high-speed blender, or grate green banana and sweet potato using a box grater. Process until mixture resembles a coarse batter.
  4. Stir mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then fold in the grated coconut and raisins. 
  5. Place about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the center of the banana leaf. Bring the edges of the banana leaf over the batter. Fold the edges under to make a tight package, then tie the blue draws with strips of banana bark or baker's twine. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add blue draws parcels, return to a boil then reduce to simmer for one hour.

Jamaican blue draws in parchment paper

Tip For Making Blue Draws

  1. Use parchment paper or aluminum foil if banana leaves aren't available. 

Other Vegan Jamaican Recipes To Try

Taking a bite from Jamaican blue draw



 

Categories

Categories: ,
Course:
Cuisine:

Nutrition

Energy:
266 kcal / 1112 kJ
Fat:
9 g
Protein:
3 g
Carbs:
43 g
Per serving

Cooking Time

Preparation:
20 min
Cooking:
1 h
Ready in:
1 h 20 min
For:
16 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the banana leaf by cutting along the midvein of the leaf and discarding it. Cut the leaf into equal rectangular pieces. Wilt or quail banana leaves by passing them over an open flame, or bring a large pot of water to boil and dip the leaves in the boiling water until they are wilted. Use a pair of tongs to remove them, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. Add coconut milk, green banana, sweet potato, and vanilla to a high-speed blender, or grate green banana and sweet potato using a box grater. Process until mixture resembles a coarse batter.
  4. Stir mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then fold in the grated coconut and raisins. 
  5. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the center of the banana leaf, then bring the edges of the banana leaf over the batter.
  6. Fold the edges under to make a tight package, then tie the blue draws with strips of banana bark or baker's twine securely. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
  7. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add blue draws parcels. Return to a boil, then reduce to simmer for one hour.
  8. Remove each of the blue draws from the pot using a pair of tongs, and place into a serving plate. Remove the tie from each parcel and serve.

Michelle Blackwood

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rate this recipe