If you are not familiar with Palusami, it is a traditional dish of some of the Pacific islands, especially Fiji and Samoa. You can substitute the ingredients to suit whatever is available in your area. So instead of taro leaves, you can use spinnach or silver beet. And if you don't like corned beef, try minced beef or lamb instead.
As fresh meat is hard to get and expensive in Fiji, tins of corned beef are often used...you will find this used in not only Palusami, but many of the curry dishes as well. An unopened can will store well in the heat, it's cheap, and easily transportable. No wonder it is so popular in Fiji.
First, remove the thickest parts of the taro stalks and put them into a bowl of hot water, while you prepare the main ingredients. This will not only leach out the acid in the leaves, it will make them pliable enough to bend.
Mix the corned beef with some of the coconut cream. You want to obtain a mix that still holds together. Add in your crushed garlic cloves, and any herbs/spices that you want to use. A pinch of dried sage and thyme perhaps.
Line a medium sized baking dish with foil, enough that you will be able to fold the top over and seal it. Then arrange the taro leaves along the bottom and sides of these. Try to have them overlapping so that there are no gaps.
Put half of the corned beef mixture in, and top with a layer of tomatoe slices and onion rings. Then add the rest of the beef, and finish with the last of the tomatoes and onions. You can pour a little coconut milk over this, and finally bend the taro leaves over the top and secure with toothpicks.
Cover the top of your Palusami parcel with the foil, and pop into a preheated oven to bake at a moderate heat for 30 minutes. The traditional way to cook this, is in an underground earthern oven, known as a "Lovo". This is great either hot or cold. Nutritious, filling, and so easy to make.
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