During my childhood in rural Pennsylvania, USA, being outdoors in nature was a big deal: we spent several summers trying out various recipes from "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons - an American classic on living off the land. One of the more memorable dishes featured in that book was young cat-tails (bull-rush flowers) boiled and eaten with melted butter and salt like corn on the cob. I was therefore delighted to find something of an equivalent here in Fiji when we moved here twenty years ago!
Duruka, a tall, grass-like plant, generally grows wild in damp soil. The part that is eaten is the unopened flower, which must be removed from its sheath, as you see my husband doing here:
The most popular way to prepare duruka is boiling it for about ten minutes in coconut cream, adding sliced onion and possibly a little crushed ginger root, for extra flavor. Most Fijians will insist on eating it with fish - though roast chicken and boiled dalo (taro root) were the accompanying dishes for Sunday lunch at our house today!
|Ready for the pot...|
|Boiling our duruka in coconut cream - YUM!!|