I admit it. I had to look up Tonga. I thought it was part of Africa. But I was thinking of Togo. The Tonga Islands are 1/2 way around the world from there. About 1/2 way between Fiji and Cook Island.

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Itty Bitty Islands in an exotic locale hidden in the Pacific Ocean.

Land of coconut, sweet potatoes, sugar, shrimp, fish, beaches, sun.

    Tonga also became known as the Friendly Islands because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit there in 1773.Wikipedia

Finding the Island was easy, finding something to cook from the islands, not so much. I really didn’t want to dig a pit and cook a suckling pig, and no tht is not stereotyping the area, nor did I have access to taro leaves or ocotopus. There is a lot of seafood eaten in Tonga (Is’s an ISLAND!!) but finding recipes for such was hard. So I made something easy. And sweet. VERY SWEET!!

First we have

    FaiKaKai (Coconut-Caramel Dumplings)

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The dumplings, or Topai, are a traditional Tongan dish (and may be the official Tongan dish).

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon table salt
    1 cup whole milk {I didn’t have quite enough milk so I used 1/2 coconut milk & 1/2 milk}
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
Bring 4-6 cups of water to a boil.

Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

Drop dumplings by tablespoon into the water, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Meanwhile start the Syrup recipe as follows.

Ingredients for the SYRUP:

    4 cups sugar
    1 can of Coconut Milk

Put 4 cups of sugar in a medium sized heavy pot and cook on medium high heat until it begins to caramelize, stirring constantly. When it is brown, carefully begin adding the coconut milk until you get the consistency you want. Transfer the dumplings into a bowl and cover with the syrup, stir until all dumplings are coated and serve!

While the dumplings have little flavor, the syrup well makes up for it. It is VERY sweet. I found the dish to be better if the dumplings were warm when introduced to the syrup and left to soak a little. Recipe from Pioneer Palate

I also used the syrup for a traditional side dish –

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These are steamed {I baked mine} sweet potatoes which are cubed and then drizzled with the same cococonut caramel sauce (see if these aren’t keeping the turkey company next month!). I topped them with roasted coconut. Recipe from Global Table Adventure

Both of these were very easy to put together.

My Kitchen My World is visiting Poland in November. If you want to ‘travel’ with us, just make a dish from Poland and leave a comment on the website. You have LOTS of time.

Round-up for Tonga will be up the first week in November.

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