In the vibrant culinary landscape of Jamaica, a beloved dessert goes by many intriguing names – Jamaican Blue Drawers, Duckunoo, or Tie Leaf. This boiled pudding, with roots tracing back to West Africa, has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of Jamaicans across the island. Its starchy, green banana-based composition makes it a delightful snack or dessert, cherished by locals and visitors alike.

The Jamaican Blue Draws Recipe


  • 3 cups grated green bananas (skins removed)
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2.5 cups grated sweet potatoes (skins removed)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly until well-incorporated.
  2. Prepare individual portions by placing one cup of the mixture onto banana leaves or aluminum foil sheets. Carefully wrap and secure the parcels with kitchen string or banana bark.
  3. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the parcels and bring it to a rolling boil.
  4. Gently add the wrapped parcels to the boiling water and cook for approximately one hour, or until the pudding is set and cooked through.
  5. Carefully remove the parcels from the water and allow them to cool slightly before unwrapping.
  6. Serve the Jamaican Blue Drawers warm, either on their own or accompanied by a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of honey, or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

This recipe yields approximately 8 servings, making it perfect for sharing with family and friends.

Regional Variations and Linguistic Quirks

The Jamaican Blue Draws RecipeThe names used to refer to this delectable treat often vary by region, with islanders from different parts of Jamaica embracing their own unique monikers. For instance, in the eastern regions, the names “Jamaican Blue Drawers,” “Duckunoo,” and “Tie Leaf” are commonly used when sharing this delicacy with family and friends.

However, one name in particular – “Blue Drawers” – has an intriguing backstory. Many Jamaicans, especially in more conservative communities, were hesitant to use the word “blue” in front of elders, fearing it might be misconstrued as a reference to undergarments. The term’s origins remain shrouded in mystery, with some speculating that it refers to the banana leaf ties used to secure the batter before boiling, while others remain uncertain of its etymology.

Adapting to Ingredient Availability

Traditionally, The Jamaican Blue Drawers, or Duckunoo, is made with banana leaves as the exclusive binder. However, for those living in areas where banana leaves are scarce or unavailable, a simple substitution can be made – aluminum foil. This versatility ensures that no matter where you reside, you can recreate the authentic flavors of this beloved Jamaican dessert.

A Taste of Authenticity and Nostalgia

For many Jamaicans, the aroma and flavor of The Jamaican Blue Drawers evoke cherished memories of childhood and special occasions. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a dessert, this traditional treat embodies the essence of Jamaican culinary heritage, bringing families and communities together over a shared love for authentic, homemade delights.

Modifying Recipes for Dietary Preferences

In today’s world, where dietary preferences and restrictions are increasingly diverse, it’s essential to recognize the need for adaptability in recipes. For those following a vegan lifestyle, substituting plant-based alternatives for the dairy and egg components can make The Jamaican Blue Drawers an inclusive and enjoyable treat for all.


The Jamaican Blue Drawers, or Duckunoo, or Tie Leaf – whatever name you choose to call it – is a true celebration of Jamaican culinary heritage. From its intriguing nomenclature to its irresistible flavors, this boiled pudding has captured the hearts and taste buds of countless individuals. Whether enjoyed as a nostalgic treat or a newfound culinary adventure, The Jamaican Blue Drawers invites us to embark on a delightful journey through flavor, tradition, and cultural diversity.

For recommendations on some of the best times to visit Jamaica, you can check out our guide here.

If you’re traveling to Jamaica alone, ensure you take all the necessary measures to keep safe. Read about how you can stay safe while visiting Jamaica. If you decide to visit any resort, be sure to tag us in your photos and videos @resortcaribbean, and follow our socials: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.



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