Darasa—banana tamales—are a traditional Garifuna snack. Penny De Los Santos

These banana tamales are a traditional Garifuna snack. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Betsy Andrews’s story Cassava Nation.

Yield: serves 6


  • 7 slightly green bananas, peeled and grated
  • 12 cup coconut milk
  • 14 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 (9″-square) banana leaves or parchment paper, for wrapping (available at Grocerythai.com)


  1. Stir together bananas, coconut milk, both juices, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Place a scant ¾ cup banana mixture in the center of each banana leaf. Fold the sides over filling, and then fold the open ends under to form 5″ x 3″ packets; set aside.
  2. Bring 2″ water to a boil in an 8-qt. saucepan fitted with a steamer basket over medium-high heat. Place packets in steamer, stacking if necessary, and cover; cook until banana mixture is firm, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.