National Library of Jamaica





Dokunnu is a sweet pudding made mainly from cornmeal that is made into small individual portions and wrapped in banana or plantain leaf. It is then tied into a little package before cooking, hence the name Tie-leaf.

The name "Blue Draws" also come from the colour that the leaves turn when they are cooked.

The word dokunnu is of  Twi (a West African Akan language) derivation meaning boiled maize bread. Dukunnu was originally made with plantain and “duckano” back in the 1700s.  The main ingredient was cornmeal or green banana, cocoa, sweet potato or cassava.

Modern versions generally use cornmeal or sweet potato.


19th Century Recipe

Cornmeal Duckoonoo

Cornmeal, flour, butter, sugar, spice

A cupful of cornmeal boiled thick with some butter, two tablespoons of sugar, a dessertspoonful of flour and a little spice. Let it cool. The roll up in bits of plantain leaf and bake.



20th Century Recipe

3 cups grated green bananas                                               

2 cups grated sweet potatoes                       

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder                                           

1 tsp. salt                                                       

2 cups coconut milk

1 ½ cups brown sugar                                              

1 tsp. vanilla                                                   

1 tsp. mixed spice

2 tbsp. melted margarine                                         

1 cup grated coconut                                 

¼ cup raisins

Combine grated banana, sweet potatoes, flour, baking powder, salt, mixed spice, margarine, grated coconut and raisins.

Sweeten coconut milk with sugar and add vanilla.

Pour milk mixture in banana mixture and blend well.

Prepare banana leaf by cutting off centre vein and holding leaf over boiling water or before an open flame to make it pliable.

Tie with banana bark or twine.

Place parcels in enough boiling water to cover and boil for 30 minutes.

Remove leaf covering to serve or could be placed on a small piece of prepared banana leaf and garnish with nuts and chilled banana cream.



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