Conkies — A Bajan Delicacy

Conkies — A Bajan Del­i­cacy

conkie 1

Dur­ing the month of Novem­ber as Bar­ba­dos com­mem­o­rates Inde­pen­dence, there are many Bajan del­i­ca­cies that Bar­ba­di­ans enjoy. One of these such del­i­ca­cies is the Conkie a corn based del­i­cacy, said to derive its name from the Ghana­ian word “kenkey” (also a corn meal dish). In the early years, prior to Inde­pen­dence, Conkies were pre­pared on Novem­ber 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, and were believed to a part of the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the sur­vival of King James the first from attempted assas­si­na­tion on that day. How­ever, after gain­ing Inde­pen­dence, Conkies became a dish asso­ci­ated with Bar­ba­dian Inde­pen­dence. As a unique part of our cul­ture, Conkies are a true reflec­tion of Bajan tra­di­tion, with the use of var­i­ous spices, local corn flour and other ingre­di­ents (see below) and are a huge favorite among Barbadians.

The Recipe

There are sev­eral recipes on how to make Conkies, as per­sons tend to use dif­fer­ent ingre­di­ents. How­ever, the main ingre­di­ents tend to remain the same: pump­kin, sweet potato, coconut, flour and most impor­tantly corn­meal. With these as your base, you won’t go wrong. How­ever, this recipe that will be shared is the most pop­u­lar one used among Bajans:

· 1 large dry coconut, grated or 1 cup prepack­aged grated coconut (this is a mat­ter of pref­er­ence; per­son­ally I pre­fer to grate the coconut itself as it ends to have a fresher and more authen­tic taste)
· ¾ lb grated pump­kin
· ½ lb grated sweet potato
· ¾ lb sugar
· 1 tsp spice
· 1 tsp nut­meg (optional; some per­sons tend not to like a lot of spices in their Conkie)
· 1 tsp almond essence
· 4 ozs. Raisins (optional depend­ing on if you like raisins)
· 1 cup self-​rising flour
· 2 cups corn flour or corn meal
· 1 tsp salt
· 46 ozs. melted but­ter or mar­garine
· 2 ozs. melted short­en­ing
· 1 cup milk
· Fresh green banana leaves

The Process of Conkie Making,

conkie 2Step 1: Mix the coconut, pump­kin, sweet potato, sugar, spices, raisins, flour, corn meal and salt into a large mix­ing bowl and stir.

Step 2: Add the melted but­ter, short­en­ing and milk to the Conkie and stir, either by hand or using a large spoon, until all the ingre­di­ents are well blended. By this time, a thick mix­ture should be formed. If it is not thick enough add more flour; if too think, add more milk or even water if so desired.

Step 3: Taste. Make sure that the Conkie is sweet enough or not too sweet, depend­ing on your per­sonal pref­er­ence. What­ever is needed, add sparingly.

conkie 3Step 4: Take the Banana leaves, strip them care­fully from the stalk and briefly singe them over an open flame to ensure that as you wrap the Conkie, the leaves are flex­i­ble enough to be bent.

conkie 4Step 5: Take a few spoon­fuls of the mix­ture and place in the cen­ter of the banana leaf. Ensure that there is not too much of the mix­ture that the leaf can­not hold. Gen­tly fold the leaf around the mix­ture (as if wrap­ping a gift) tak­ing care not to dam­age the leaf.

conkie 5Step 6: Take a large pot and place the banana leaf stalks at the bot­tom and cover the stalks with water. Place the Conkies inside the pot and cover it, allow­ing the Conkies to steam until firm.
Step 7: Eat up!conkie 6

For a visual on how every­thing is done, visit: youtube​.com
©Arti­cle of Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine

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