Making palusami

Palusami Recipe

Palusami is a delicious dish from the Pacific Islands and has been around for many many years. And as such , it can be made in a variety of ways or methods. Usually, traditionally Palusami is prepared and cooked in the lovo (hot stone earth oven), but can also be cooked in a conventional oven or just a regular pot on the stove. But the recipe for preparing it is all the same. So long as it is cooked one way or another.

Lovo fire burning
Lovo making in progress. When stone is red or white hot, the left over firewood is removed, stones leveled flat and wrapped food is placed on top of the stone and finally buried and steam cooked for about 1.5 to 2 hours.


  • Some tinned meat (like tinned mutton or beef) if you plan to make a meat palusami else no meat and it becomes a vegetarian palusami
  • Some diced onions
  • Fresh Taro leaves (this is the main part and they must be whole taro leaves without it’s stem)
  • Diced tomatoes (optional)
  • Coconut cream, either freshly made or buy tin canned from the store
  • Salt
  • Chilly
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Palusami Recipe Preparation

Prepare the taro leaves by removing the stem of the taro so only the leaves are left. Stack them up so they are easy gather a few at once.

After preparing the taro leaves, prepare the palusami fillings.

Mix in a big bowl the contents of canned meat, diced tomatoes, onions, some chilly, freshly pounded garlic, ginger and pour in the coconut cream. Mix well.

In a big bowl pour the coconut cream in it with diced ionions, empty the tinned meat, add some salt to taste, chilly, garlic and a tad bit of lemon juice. Mix well. This is basically what will be put inside taro leave wrap.

Making palusami
Making in the making. On the left are taro leaves and on the right is the palusami fillings.

Next gather up some taro leaves to make a bowl shape by stacking leaves together with big ones at the bottom. It should be shaped in a way that when the palusami fillings are poured into it, it won’t leak. Pour some palusami fillings about 1 cup into the prepared taro leaves and close the leaves together. Wrap the leaves into aluminium foil so it don’t fall apart.

Keep wrapping until run out of taro leaves and fillings.

Then if the lovo is ready, place palusami in lovo. This is the traditional method of making palusami.

If making a lovo is not convenient then just place the wrapped palusami in a conventional oven and bake for about an hour.

Also if the palusami isn’t going to be cooked in the lovo, then just cut up the taro leaves into small pieces in a baking tray and add in the palusami fillings. Mix and bake in oven for about an hour.

Pealed taro being placed in lovo
Pealed taro being placed in the lovo and other cooked food including palusami wrapped in foil.

Or place in pot and cook on a regular stove in a pot. It comes out the same either way believe it or not! Although some will swear by the lovo method to be the tastiest but this is a subjective matter. Each to their own taste buds! 🙂

Let us know how yours comes up and post comments and pictures below. 🙂


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