Jamaican Blue Drawers for #SundaySupper

Jan 6, 2013 by

Welcome to the first #SundaySupper of 2013! I’m so grateful when I am able to participate and I’m more than happy to jump right on in at the start of the new year. Today’s theme is Whats on your recipe bucket list? My recipe bucket list is quite long. There were a few things I wanted to start off with but then I remembered that I promised myself that I’d make Blue Drawers. It’s a very simple sweet pudding that has been around for decades in Jamaica. I only knew about it as an adult and was surprised to know that some of my friends have only heard about it, but have never had it. I guess its something that our grandmothers would make. I’m no grandma, but I love exploring my heritage and learning about the food from the land of my birth. So let’s go!

Please check out all the exciting recipes that the #SundaySupper family have to share. I’m looking forward to seeing the dishes that we are all making for the very first time! I’ll consider this the post to kick off my bucket list recipes.

Blue Drawers (you might also see it as Blue Draws) has a few aliases … Tie-A-Leaf, Duckoono/Dokunnu and Boyo. It is originally a West African dish (Dokunu) that was traditionally made with plantains, but modern versions are made with cornmeal, sweet potato, green banana, cassava, or a combination of your preference. Blue Drawers is essentially a boiled pudding that is considered a treat because it is sweet as opposed to savory. Along with the selection of ingredients mentioned previously, grated coconut is always added. Consider this a mandatory ingredient. What really got me interested in making Blue Drawers, was that each portion is boiled in a banana leaf secured with thin strip of banana bark. Something about it just seems so rustic, and pure. I love that in Jamaica, it is pretty much still prepared that way. I always wondered about how this pudding ended up with the name “Blue Drawers”. Well, according to the National Library of Jamaica, it was given the nickname Blue Drawers because the banana leaves apparently have a blue hue once they are cooked. Well. Okay then! Who knew?

The fact that I did not have banana leaves did not stop me from preparing this pudding. I used the alternative…foil! It doesn’t look as rustic and earthy but it’s what I have access to. And it worked just great. I also added my very own special touch to this Jamaican treat ~ a simple coconut glaze with a hint of citrus to break up that coconut essence just a little bit.

 Jamaican Blue Drawers Collage



Jamaican Blue Drawers

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Jamaican
Author: Lyn via “Cook Up Jamaican Style, 4th Edition”
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6
A traditional Jamaican dessert or snack made from cornmeal, coconut milk and raisins
  • 1 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/3 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
  • ***
  • Coconut Orange Glaze
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/8 Tsp Pure Orange Extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, mixed spice, shredded coconut and raisins
  2. In a small bowl, add coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix to combine
  3. Add the coconut milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix with a spoon until combined
  4. Prepare 12 sheets of foil, 12″ X 8″
  5. Using a standard ice-cream scoop, place a scoop of batter into the center of the foil sheets, and fold the foil around each scoop to form parcels
  6. Place the parcels in pot enough boiling water to cover them completely
  7. Cook on medium high heat for about an hour
  8. Remove each parcel with tongs and place on a bowl.
  9. Carefully unwrap each parcel over a few sheets of paper towels as some water may drip out
  10. For the glaze: In a small bowl, add coconut milk, and confectioners sugar. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Add orange extract and combine.
  11. Add glaze on top of each pudding once cooled


I took this photograph in August for 2012 while I was visiting Jamaica during the Jamaica 50 celebrations (Jamaica celebrated its 50th year of independence). I only knew of Blue Drawers by name. I had not had it at this point. Then a friend of mine gave me some that his mother had made. I knew that even if it was just once, I would make Blue Drawers. So keep in mind that this is how they would have been presented if I had banana leaves.


Jamaican Blue Drawers

Jamaican Blue Drawers


In terms of the main ingredient, I did make a very slight change. I used golden raisins instead of regular raisins.


Golden Raisins

Golden Raisins


I combined the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients to make a moist batter.


Blue Drawers Prep

Combining ingredients to make Blue Drawers


Combining the batter was easy, and so was the parcel preparation. There was no particular way in which to fold the parcels, so I just made them the best I could. Utilizing the scoop ensured that each pudding would be identical in size. I got exactly 12 scoops using this recipe. I made my parcels fairly small. I cut the ingredients in half in order to keep the servings small.


Jamaican Blue Drawers Parcels

Jamaican Blue Drawers – Preparing the parcels for boiling


Cooled Blue Drawers

Jamaican Blue Drawers-18

Jamaican Blue Drawers


I think adding the glaze gave it a modern touch. I enjoyed it with the glaze. The orange essence is very subtle.


Jamaican Blue Drawers with an Orange Coconut Glaze

Jamaican Blue Drawers
with an Orange Coconut Glaze


I hope you enjoyed this item from my bucket list. Whats next on your recipe bucket list?


Check out the recipes

This Week’s Sunday Supper Recipes:

Sunday Supper Specialty Breads:

Sunday Supper Main Dishes:

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks:


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. 

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.


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  1. Absolutely lovely and something I’ve never heard of before! Always learning something new with #sundaysupper!
    Susan recently posted..Braided Challah #SundaySupperMy Profile

  2. It is so wonderful to see our Jamaican heritage being shared in this forum. Blue Draws … something I have never eaten, and never prepared. Lyn has done it again! They look amazing, as usual and of course, you improvise which is something I absolutely love about you and The Lovely Pantry. Golden Raisins, something I have never heard of in my entire life! Always learn something new! Thank you soo much bestie!! I also love the new collage picture display! Another thing to add to my recipe bucket list … very long as well!
    Nioka (@NiokaLH) recently posted..RefocusMy Profile

  3. Ok, so OH just told me that HE has actually MADE Blue Draws before!! So, he has just been requested/instructed to make it again using your recipe! Thanks again hon!!
    Nioka (@NiokaLH) recently posted..RefocusMy Profile

  4. I have never heard of Jamaican Blue Drawers before, but they sound wonderful! Thanks for introducing me to them…
    Katie recently posted..Popcorn with truffle oil and asiago cheese for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. The name is so intriguing, but then so is the finished recipe! I love any sweet with cornmeal. Nice job Lyn!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Caramelized Monkey Bread #SundaySupperMy Profile

  6. After hearing the name, I could not wait to see what these were. I love that they are tamale-esque…and they look so darn delicious! Now I want to try them.
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..Homemade Seafoam Candy {#SundaySupper}My Profile

  7. Clearly, I’ve been denied my entire life of this loveliness. YUM!!!
    Jen @ Juanita’s Cocina recently posted..Divinity ~ Bucket List #SundaySupper!My Profile

  8. Beautiful! These look fabulous!
    Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes recently posted..Homemade Bagels with Mimosa Cream Cheese Spread #SundaySupperMy Profile

  9. Bea

    This looks amazing :))) Yum and it is dairy free, yay!!!!
    Bea recently posted..Pork Tenderloin for Saturday Night #DinnerMy Profile

  10. This sounds amazing. I have had a lot of success finding banana leaves at Mexican markets. Not sure what you have around you but you might want to try that as the chain grocers never carry banana leaves. Not that it looked like you needed it.
    Chris Baccus recently posted..San Antonio Puffy Tacos for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. I absolutely enjoyed you sharing this recipe. Yet another one that speaks to me with the cornmeal and coconut. My bucket list just grew one more item thanks to you.
    Renee recently posted..Ropa Vieja for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  12. Coconut, banana and orange? You’re making me want to hop on a plane right now! I recently re-discovered a cornmeal based pudding from my childhood, but it involved ginger and molasses and tasted like pumpkin pie. I like the idea of cornmeal puddings, seeing your recipe makes me want to experiment more with them!
    kelly @ kellybakes recently posted..Donuts: redux for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  13. That’s so nifty! Would love to try
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) recently posted..Nut and Seed Nougat (#SundaySupper Bucket List!)My Profile

  14. Very cool, I love seeing your recipes!!
    Tara recently posted..Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta for New Year’s Bucket List #SundaySupperMy Profile

  15. OOh Lynn, gorgeous !! Love this. All my favorite ingredients. Must try this sometime. Decadent treat ! Love the coconut orange glaze !!
    sunithi recently posted..Spicy Peanut Sesame Brittle With Honey & Coconut Oil #SundaySupperMy Profile

  16. That is the best name for a dish ever! They sound really good.
    Alicia (foodycat) recently posted..Pomegranate and lemon saladMy Profile

    • Hahahaa! Thanks Alicia…it used to make me snicker just a little bit. I guess the name can be open to interpretation…lol

  17. These came out lovely, Lyn! They remind me of many of the steamed sweet treats that Malaysians make, also wrapped in banana leaves.
    Stacy recently posted..Hot Lemon Curd Soufflés for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  18. Wow, I’d love these, Lyn! Coconut and orange go so well together!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..Belgian Waffles for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  19. Liz

    A new one for me, too…but from the list of ingredients and your endorsement, I know this is one tasty treat!!!
    Liz recently posted..Homemade Samoa Bars…#ChocolatePartyMy Profile

  20. Gulp, this looks too good to be true. I love every single ingredients, esp the golden raisins. And yes, coconut and orange are my two other best friends. :)
    Linda | The Urban Mrs recently posted..Baked Oatmeal Chocolate BerriesMy Profile

  21. This is an awesome recipe!!
    Megan – I Run For Wine recently posted..French Macarons for #SundaySupper Bucket ListMy Profile

  22. Like sweet tamales – how cute! They sound delicious, and having never heard of them, your post has been quite an education!
    Katy recently posted..Gluten-Free Bread for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  23. Lyn, I’ve really enjoyed being exposed to all the delicious Jamaican dishes on your blog. These blue drawers look so yummy. I love cornmeal and coconut so putting them together is brilliant. More coconut glaze for me please 😉
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted..Brioche for a #SundaySupper Bucket ListMy Profile

  24. These sound really good, and the glaze sounds like the perfect addition. I am pinning, because I am really intrigued and want to try them.
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips recently posted..Mama Monday 1-7-13 – Leave Kate Alone!!My Profile

  25. I love that you made a Jamaican dessert. . wow! And they look super tasty! Thanks for sharing!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted..Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  26. I’ve never heard of these, but they sound delicious.
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Guinness Braised Short Ribs ~ #SundaySupperMy Profile

  27. I have never heard of these before. They sound wonderful, great recipe!
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Artichoke DipMy Profile

  28. My favorite part about being a member of #SundaySupper is that I get to be exposed to wonderful ethnic dishes that I would otherwise never had a chance to see or hear about. I love your Jamaican inspired dishes. And this treat is no exception!
    Sarah recently posted..Happy Birthday #SundaySupper Pork Ragu and mini mac and cheese cupsMy Profile

  29. Roxine

    My great grandma used to make these all the time adn Ive been craving them. Thanks for the recipe!


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