Recipe courtesy of Francesca Chaney

Darasa (Green Banana Tamales)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 tamales
Darasa is a traditional Garifuna green banana tamale made from the staple ingredients of our culture. The Garinagu people carried their seeds, cassava sticks and banana suckers with them to Central America after being exiled from St. Vincent and planted them in their newfound home. Many of our traditional recipes are centered on these staple ingredients.



  1. Heat the oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Peel the green bananas and cut them in half. Place the bananas and coconut milk in a blender with the garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Squeeze the orange into the mix before blending on high. The mixture will be a pasty, batter-like consistency. 
  3. Put the water into a medium pan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Divide the tamale mixture into the middle of the banana leaves. Spoon half of the pepper mixture on top. Fold the leaf horizontally over the mixture, then fold over vertically. Cut two small thin pieces of banana leaf to tie around the tamales vertically and horizontally.
  4. Gently place the tamales into the simmering water and cover. Steam/boil the tamales for 10 minutes on each side. 
  5. Unwrap the tamales from the banana leaf and enjoy!