So, I decided to make Blue Draws. And had to make the “ballsy” decision to tell my parents…manifesting that they wouldn’t think I was disrespecting them…and asked for a bit of advise on how to make this traditional dessert. We will get to that in a moment.
Blue Draws, Tie-Leaf, or Dukunnu is a well liked boiled dessert or snack in Jamaica, originating from West Africa. However, my dad grew up in the country and I grew up in town; he was the one who made these delicious, starchy, sweet boiled “maize puddings” for us and he called them Blue Draws. Therefore, sticking with my family tradition, I will call them Blue Draws.
As we know the word “Blue” is sometimes used to refer to a dirty movie and “Draws”, in Jamaica, is a vulgar term for someone’s underwear. Now here I am talking to my parents about making “Blue Draws”; using words I was never allowed to use as a child, unless I wanted a spanking and sent off to bed. So, why is it called such a name that a child can only eat it, but cannot say it? Not sure, but my research came up with a small explanation.
It is so named, because portions are wrapped in banana leaves (the draws) that turn blue after boiling. Tie-Leaf is self-explanatory once you see the pictures.
There are many ways to make Blue Draws; some are banana, sweet potato, or cornmeal based. I will make mine cornmeal based…that’s how my dad made his, and his mom made hers’ the same way also.
*You Will Need:2 cups Cornmeal ¾ cup Brown sugar ½ tsp. Salt ½ tsp. Cinnamon ½ tsp. Nutmeg 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 1/2 cups of Coconut milk ¼ cup Raisins Banana leaves and ties
First, mix the dry ingredients together and then add the coconut milk and vanilla. It is a pretty easy mix.
Second, place each banana leaf over open flames and slowly move it back and forth until the leaf changes colour. This procedure makes the leaf pliable for better handling.
Third, cut each leaf into squares, removing the stem. Add mixed batter in the center of the leaf section, and then wrap and tie it up, like wrapping a Christmas present.
Forth, place Blue Draws in boiling water for 45-60 minutes. After cooking: drain, cool, and enjoy.
So, there you have it, my family version of making Blue Draws, I do hope you will try it.
Reference: National Library of Jamaica