In Caribbean cuisine, porridge holds a high place to strengthen and fortify people for a long time. Where porridge dishes usually contain wheat, corn, and oats, Haitians like to add plantains in it. As a popular ingredient in Haitian cuisine, plantain is eaten in various ways, including being boiled, made into a purée, and fried crisps.
The Supper of Haitians
How Porridge Became Labouyi Bannann
A fulfilling evening meal eaten as supper in Haitian cuisine is a porridge made with plantain. Also known as Labouyi Bannann in Haitian Creole, this dish is deeply rooted in Caribbean cuisine history. Labouyi is sometimes made with cornmeal, potato flour, regular flour, plantains, and many Haitians end their day with a hot bowl.
Plantains’ addition adds a rich flavor to this bland dish, which is why Haitians prefer their version more.
Usually, porridge is made with coconut milk, but Labouyi Bannann does not include this ingredient to keep it light. For an aromatic flavor, cinnamon and vanilla essence is added, which elevates the taste.
- Green plantain (1)
- Star anise – (3)
- Water (3.5 cups)
- Salt (1/2 tsp)
- Evaporated milk (12 oz. can)
- Sugar (1/2 cup)
- Lime peel (1) – optional
- Vanilla essence (1/2 Tbsp.)
- Cinnamon sticks/chips (3-4) or 1/4 Tsp. powder
- Add one cup of water to a pot with the cinnamon, star anise, and salt. Bring the water to a boil.
- Wash the plantain and cut off both ends. Cut off the two or three pointy parts of the plantain (see video). Cut the plantain in small pieces and add to a blender with the 2.5 cups of water. Blend for one to two minutes.
- Add the porridge to the pot, stir, and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, (and lime peel if you choose). Cook for another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and do not cover because it may overspill.
- Lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the stove and let it cool off for a few minutes.
Your labouyi bannann is ready!
Serve 3-4 people
Prep time: Up to 45 minutes.
Watch our YouTube video to see how it’s made.