Last Updated on April 28, 2022 by Chef Mireille
Depending how you serve it, Authentic Homemade Puligi can be enjoyed as a delicious breakfast cake or a rich dessert. When eaten as breakfast in Samoa, it is usually enjoyed with butter and fresh fruit (like banana). As dessert, it is served with custard making it a rich and luxurious dessert.
Puteni in Fiji or Puligi in Samoa, no matter which word you use, I pronounce it delicious. It is a popular treat of the Polynesian islands and is especially made during holidays.
Spend a Christmas in Polynesia and you will definitely partake in some Puligi. Although traditionally eaten with pouring custard for holidays, Samoans often eat it with just butter, tea and banana for breakfast.
This puligi can be enjoyed then both as dessert or breakfast depending how you serve it.
This steamed pudding is indicative of the European colonization of the region. Many European countries and even the United States established trading ports and battled over the colonization of Samoa for many years including Germany and Britain.
They were the longest under New Zealand rule until 1962. With the use of coconut cream and spices, a fusion of Polynesian flavors with a British cooking method created this dish. Let’s get started on our puligi…
This is one of the most delicious Samoan recipes I am sure you will love as much as I did.
- Coconut Cream is not the same thing as Coconut Milk or Cream of Coconut. Check out the link below for details. You want to make sure you are using coconut cream!
- Make sure to keep watch on the caramel. It can seem like it is slow cooking, but once you walk away…it can burn so quickly!
- Although I have not tried it yet, I am sure this delicious steamed cake can also easily be made in the Instant Pot also.
To learn more about the differences between the types of coconut milk, read all about it here – Types of Coconut Milk.
It has such a soft and fluffy texture – I don’t think it even needs the butter!
If this looks so good to you that you want to explore this cuisine a little more, do check my recipe for Samoan Banana Donuts here!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- Let's first make the syrup.
- Combine sugar, 1 cup water and cream of coconut in a saucepan or deep skillet.
- Cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until it gets all bubbly and frothy. Leave to cool completely for 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.
- Combine butter and sugar and mix until creamy, using an electric mixer.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Add syrup and mix until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into whatever vessel you use for steaming. I poured it into individual greased ramekins in a pot.
- Fill pot with water enough to touch bottom of ramekins. Cover and steam for 45 minutes-2 hours, until knife inserted comes out clean.
- Carefully remove from ramekins and slice.
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