Over the weekend we traveled to Tonga. I apologize for the lateness of this post!
Tonga is made up of 150 islands, and 36 of those islands are inhabited. 70% of Tongans reside on the main island of Tongatapu. The region of Tonga has been inhabited since the 5th century B.C. Tonga became known as the “friendly islands” because of the pleasant reception when Captain James Cook first visited back in 1773.
Vanilla, banana, coconut, and pumpkins are grown in this beautiful tropical country. Tongans are known to love food. Food is at the center of many Tongan celebrations, and it is customary to prepare large feasts.
The dish that I decided on for Tonga is called Faikakai (pronounced F-Eye-Ka-Ka-Eye), which is a Coconut Caramel Dumpling. According to my research when I was learning about the food & cuisine of Tonga, Faikakai is a traditional Tongan dessert recipe.
Faikakai (Coconut Caramel Dumplings)
For the Dumplings:
2 Cups GF All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup DF Milk
3 tbsp. DF Butter, melted
Bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Microwave the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl until warm, but do not overheat (about 1 min). Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture and incorporate until smooth.
Drop the dumplings by tablespoons into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings are larger in size (about 15 to 18 min).
For the Coconut Caramel Syrup:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Can of Coconut Milk
Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy pot over medium heat until caramelization begins to occur, stirring constantly. When the sugar is brown, gradually add in the coconut milk until you reach the right consistency.
Place the dumplings in a bowl and cover with the syrup and serve.