Saturday, 5 May 2012


It's duruka season here in Fiji!  Duruka (Saccharum edule) is one of the weirder, highly delicious vegetables that form part of the traditional Fijian diet.  When it comes into season around April / May each year, you will often see teepee-shaped  bundles of green daruka stalks lined up for sale at rural bus stops and in front of the lean-to vegetable stands that punctuate the verges of our roads here in Fiji.  Here's the bundle I bought from an old farmer selling vegetables door to door in our neighborhood the other day:

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!!


  1. Thaks for posting 'how to do it' photos! we just bought some on the market and were not exactly sure how to preapre it!

    1. Hope the end result was delicious! Sounds like the daruka season is off to an early start this year! :)

    2. In PNG the coconut milk 'boil up' method is common, along with a light seasoning of curry powder mixed into the liquid as the Duruka/Pit-pit cooks. The light curry seasoning along with the Pit-pit is one of those classic matches that just works!!

    3. Thanks Peter - will give that a try when the season comes round again next year!