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12 November 2009

Vanilla ice cream with kumara and plantain

There's nothing really fancy with this recipe, inspite of the title. Just applying what I have learned here in New Zealand. Kumara is the local term for sweet potatoes. It looks a lot like the camote in the Philippines, although I think we have a bit more variety, like the deep purple variety that's sometimes mixed with yam, and the whitish kind that is ideal for boiling. One thing I noticed with the kumara here is that it has loads more water content. When we thinly slice our camote and fry it, we end up with crispy chips. The kumara on the other hand remains pliable.

The other item, plantain, is actually the cooking banana, or what we also call saba.

Ice cream is quite cheap here... you can have a 2 liter tub for only $3.50. So we always have some in the ref. However, rather than enjoy it as is, we have been experimenting with how it can be made more fun. And since we are all familiar with the banana cue and camote cue, this is a twist to our all-time favorite street food.

Simply peel the skin off the kumara / camote and dice. For the banana, slice each piece lengthwise into three. Heat up enough cooking oil into the pan to submerge the banana pieces. Then place the banana pieces flat onto the pan and sprinkle some brown sugar. The brown sugar will melt and latch onto the banana pieces. Turn over and sprinkle some more brown sugar. A couple of minutes each side will do the trick.

We were also experimenting with other ways to prepare the plantain, and some of the pieces we wrapped with filo pastry. It was also gooood.

Then fry the diced kumara also with brown sugar, mixing occasionally to distribute the sugar. When you can pierce the kumara with a fork, it's ready.

When you have guests, it's a really cool idea to have either plantain or kumara on the table as well as the ice cream (vanilla flavour works best). Just make sure they have cooled a bit or the ice cream will melt on them like there's no tomorrow. They can choose their dessert preference; for the ultimate combination they can use the kumara as the base, followed by the ice cream, and then sprinkled by diced kumara.

Really nice especially if the banana and kumara are still a bit warm. A striking contrast from the cold ice cream.

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