Muffins recipes

National dish of Tuvalu

flag of Tuvalu

  • Independence: 1. 10. 1978
  • Capital: Funafuti
  • Official language: Tuvaluan, English
  • Population: 11 200
  • Area: 26 km2
  • International code: TV
  • Currency: Tuvaluan dollar
map of Tuvalu



  • 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 Tuvalu


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.


Tuvalu is formed of 9 different very small islands, like Naumea, Niutao, Naumanga and Funafuti, which are distribute on a wide area in the Pacific, so their cuisine and diet habits vary, but they are all based on seafood, fish meals and local plants, such as taro. Most of the population is concentrated on the Funafuti Island and even though this is very small, the cuisine here is most representative for all the state. In the capital, Vaiaku, the seafood dishes and meats are more common than the mashed veggies or soups, while in more rural areas or islands, the taro is the staple aliment and it is considered to be multi-functional: there is the taro leaf and coconut soup, taro leaf au gratin, taro chips, taro cakes and palusami - all these are meals that can be found in Hawaii, too. The palusami, also called the samoa is a dish which is served with taro or breadfruit and it is made of taro leaves (which can be replaced with spinach), coconut cream, lime juice, onions and spices.

© 2011-2015 Site Map Info