Jamaican Blue Draws Recipe – aka Dukunu

Jamaican Blue Draws Recipe – aka Dukunu


How old were you when you found out that “Blue Draws” wasn’t actually…. blue underwear? I didn’t until high school.

Otherwise called “Dukunu” or “tie leaf,” blue draws is a starchy type of boiled pudding. The belief is that this snack originated in West Africa. Consequently, in Ghana, the Asante people call it Dukunu. This method of cooking corn dough in banana leaves travelled to the Caribbean in the minds of slaves.

How To Make Jamaican Blue Draws?


  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • banana leaves
  • banana bark


  1. Prepare the banana leaf by cutting along the midvein of the leaf and discarding it. Cut the leaf into equal rectangular pieces. After, wilt or quail banana leaves by passing them over an open flame. You can also bring a large pot of water to boil and wilt the leaves by dipping them in the boiling water. In order to not get burned, use a pair of tongs to remove them, and set aside.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients and grated coconut together.
  3. Add coconut milk and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Owing to the fact that you don’t want the ingredients to burn, place about 2 tablespoons of the batter onto the centre of the banana leaf. Bring the edges of the banana leaf over the batter. Fold the edges under to make a tight package, then tie the blue draws with strips of banana bark or baker’s twine. Repeat to cover all the batter.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add blue draws parcels, return to a boil then reduce to simmer for one hour.

*Banana leaves can be replaced with parchment paper (don’t use aluminium foil as cooking it is very bad for your health)

In summary, this snack has filled many bellies in Jamaica. Given that Blue Draws is such a sweet snack, it is a favourite among children. With that in mind, two things are to be expected after eating this starch favourite. There will be a burst of energy, followed by a deep sleep of the consumer. Given that, enjoy the ride.

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