Banana Love

Centre of the stage right now of our local produce, is the one, the many varieties of BANANA.Bananas

Now this is a very short post on a very large subject, but as you all may know (in the NT) our bananas have been ordered to be destroyed by April in a very large eradication zone from Darwin to very near Adelaide River township because of Banana Freckle. Some people are outraged, some sad- I mean who doesn’t have bananas or love bananas in the Darwin region?

We will post some more information and maps here very soon, but would like to share with you our love for the banana, our sadness that it needs to be destroyed and the many wonderful uses it has for us in our community!

On Sunday March 8th we will be celebrating the Banana at a Community Banana Festival at the Mulch Pit, Nightcliff. We will be having cooking demonstrations, art and craft, including banana fibre weaving, banana fibre paper making, banana theatre, music and talks about how amazing the banana is and some more info on how it has come about we need to get rid of them (for a while). The festival will be a wake for the banana and accumulate in shared banana dishes and a farewell ceremony!

The poster for this is released tomorrow!

The banana is an incredible plant, infact a herb in Musaceae family and there are hundreds of varieties, all growing in the tropics and sub tropics.

For now we will share just a few images from The GULP project of the diverse banana as food and friend from our community!


Nick in Alawa loves his bananas and is waiting for his last ones to ripen.

Hannah banana

Hannah, also of Alawa is not very happy her backyard bananas have to go, she loves bananas so much that she is know as Hannah Banana! (pronounced so it rhymes!)

Banana shower love

Jon even showers in his bananas everyday (in a banana circle) and things could be quite exposed without them!

Anyway onto the banana parts and how interesting they are-

Banana flower salad kate

The flower of the banana is used for so many delicious dishes. Above is Kate (from Alawa)’s banana flower salad, where parts of the flower and boiled and chopped into a wonderful Asian style dish!

Sandar Tun and banana trunkThe young trunk of the banana can be made into many dishes, including this Bhurmese dish, cooked by Sundar Tun of Bhurma (above) and below a soup with Banana trunk made by Sandar (also of Bhurma) both of My Sister’s Kitchen in Karama.

sandar soup best

An Indian style curry can also be made from Banana trunk, like the one below, made by Erin of Fannie Bay.

Banana shoot curry

Many sweets are made from the ripe fruit of the banana, including this frozen banana desert made by Bhavini in Rapid Creek-

Banana and coconut frozen desert 2Banana cakes are a classic and most people in the Darwin area would have a recipe! The one pictured below with a native bushtucker fruit (Meiyogne or Bush Apricot) was made by Grusha of Nakara.

Banana Bread and Myogynie

Bananas that are green can be used for curries like the two below (one just banana, one with snake gourd in too) The plantain variety is best to make this, but most larger bananas can be used green. The curries below were made by Emma in Alawa, of Taste of The Top End.banana curry snake guord curryBanana leaves are used to wrap so many things, to be cooked in a fire, steamed or baked in an oven. INcluded are the wonderful banana leaf wrapped sticky rice banana sweets from Rapid Creek market.

sticky rice banana 2Bananas are used for weaving, as fibre and are pretty much found in everyone’s yard! Watch this space for more of the banana. Please send in your recipes and why you love the banana!


Banana trunk and more at My Sister’s Kitchen

The GULP project has been happening, with some great local food shares and workshops, to come up with some lovely local recipes using seasonal produce, from the community, for the community!

We have so far been working in collaboration with various organisations including My Sister’s Kitchen (Darwin Community Arts). My Sister’s kitchen encourages women from all backgrounds in the community, to come together and share art and crafting and cooking on Mondays in Malak. The Malak community centre also has a wonderful garden. If you want to get involved, come along or contact Darwin Community Arts.

Zeba? and Sandar Tun in garden banana trunk

At the end of last year we started running work shops in conjunction with My Sister’s kitchen and the lovely ladies there, to see and share how they cook some of our wonderful local produce.

We have had several workshops there and today we just had another one which came up with some great recipes…


We take lots of fresh local ingredients to the sessions, sourced from gardens or the market and see what everyone would like to cook or learn to cook.

We started off looking at green or slightly ripening pawpaw. We started making raw pawpaw salad with shredded pawpaw, peanuts, lime, palm sugar,chilli, fish sauce and fresh coriander and Rosia and Marcia added their own stance on it, adding grated cucumber, which added a refreshing crunchy twist..

Rosia and MArcia pawpaw

Sandar Win and Maaye, who are from Bhurma and have been cooking with banana parts for a long time, showed us all how to prepare banana trunk and make a great salad..

Banana trunks are cut down after harvesting a bunch of bananas and the heart of this trunk can make wonderful dishes. Sandar Tun says that the sweeter the bananas, the better the trunk for cooking. The trunk we used was from sugar bananas.

The trunk is peeled to get to the middle part and then this is finely sliced.

Sandar Win

The slices are soaked in water and turmeric, so they don’t go black. This is then blanched in hot water and squeezed out.

The photo below shows two ways the banana trunk can look when cut. The lower piece, with more defined markings is the better part or type of trunk for cooking with.

Banana trunk parts

Garlic, mint, coriander, chilli, fish sauce, lime juice and salt are added. Hopefully we didn’t forget to mention anything! The result is really delicious. And the salad is also looks beautiful. It had quite a few chillies in, but these could definitely be changed to taste.

Sandar Tun and banana trunk

Sandar Tun showed us a version of green pawpaw soup. You can pick a really green pawpaw or one on the turn. This one was on the turn (starting to ripen) and cut into thin parts, put in a pan with peanuts, thai coriander, tumeric, salt and chilli.

Pawpaw soup start

It is then boiled with coconut milk. The result is a rich and delicious tasting soup!

Pawpaw soup

All of the wonderful food was shared with some dhal cooked by Jacob and rice together and marked the end of another great session and some new inspiration of how to cook our local produce.

Soon (we promise) written out recipes with quantities will be uploaded to the web!

Eating 2A big thank you to all the ladies for sharing your knowledge and to DCA/ MSK for letting us run the workshops!

ladies group