Muffins recipes

National dish of Samoa

flag of Samoa

  • Independence: 1. 1. 1962
  • Capital: Apia
  • Official language: Samoan, English
  • Population: 194 320
  • Area: 2 831 km2
  • International code: WS
  • Currency: Tala (WST)
map of Samoa



  • 1-2 dozen med sized taro leaves
  • 1 medium sized can of corned beef, or substitute
  • small can of coconut milk
  • several roughly sliced tomatoes
  • 1-2 onions
  • garlic and herbs to flavor, as required
Palusami is national food (dish) of Samoa


First, remove the thickest parts of the taro stalks and put them into a bowl of hot water, while you prepare the main ingredients. This will not only leach out the acid in the leaves, it will make them pliable enough to bend. Mix the corned beef with some of the coconut cream. You want to obtain a mix that still holds together. Add in your crushed garlic cloves, and any herbs/spices that you want to use. A pinch of dried sage and thyme perhaps. Line a medium sized baking dish with foil, enough that you will be able to fold the top over and seal it. Then arrange the taro leaves along the bottom and sides of these. Try to have them overlapping so that there are no gaps. Put half of the corned beef mixture in, and top with a layer of tomatoe slices and onion rings. Then add the rest of the beef, and finish with the last of the tomatoes and onions. You can pour a little coconut milk over this, and finally bend the taro leaves over the top and secure with toothpicks. Cover the top of your Palusami parcel with the foil, and pop into a preheated oven to bake at a moderate heat for 30 minutes. The traditional way to cook this, is in an underground earthern oven, known as a "Lovo". This is great either hot or cold. Nutritious, filling, and so easy to make.


Food is a very important part of Samoan life. Wherever and whenever Samoans travel they take food with them. If you spend any time travelling in and around the Pacific you will undoubtably come across the sight of Samoans at airports carrying special boxes with the words 'Umu' printed on the side. They are the equivalent of a take-away, but more of these later. If they are travelling farther afield to visit friends and relations in America or Europe then you can be pretty certain that somewhere in their luggage is a tin or two of Hellaby's corned beef. Samoan food tends not to be highly spiced or seasoned and consists of a number of cooked ingredients that are relatively unfamiliar or prepared in unusal ways to most Westerners such as cooked breadfuit, taro, taro leaves, cooked green bananas and raw fish.

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