My mom is easily one of the best cooks in the family. She is the embodiment of the popular Jamaican phrase, “tun yuh han fi mek fashion” – translated to “turn your hand to make fashion”, meaning use what you have to make something special. Plantain porridge is a classic Jamaican breakfast, but like many cultural dishes, porridge has variations from person to person, family to family. There’s a base, but cooking is about evolution and individuality. About finding new methods and flavors through your own curiosity. Here’s my recipe plus variations and alternatives.
2 sweet plantains (alternatives: green banana, green plantain)
1 can of coconut milk (alternatives: regular milk, almond milk, cashew milk sounds delightful!)
2 cups of water
¼ cup brown sugar (alternatives: coconut sugar would be great, regular sugar)
* optional ¼ cup of cornmeal (cornmeal will make a thicker porridge with more texture)
pinch sea salt
vanilla extract (alternatives: rum)
Bring the two cups of water to a simmer. Season with a sea salt, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg- starting with one teaspoon of each.
Peel and roughly chop your plantains and put them into the food processor or blender with the can of coconut milk. Blend this until smooth.
Add the pureed plantain to the pot of simmered water. Whisk to mix. Bring it to a low boil on medium-low and add sugar. *add cornmeal here if desired
Reseason as necessary with allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar. Boil for 15 minutes, allow it to thicken whisking frequency to avoid lumps. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Dish up and enjoy!