Sunday, July 24, 2011

West Indian Sweet potato pone

A pone is a traditional bread made by American Indians from flat cakes of cornmeal baked in ashes. The pone has evolved not only is it from the traditional cornmeal, it is also made from cassava, and sweet potato. It is popular in almost all of the Caribbean islands with each island having their special way of making it. The sweet potato pone is a favorite in the islands of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. It can be served as a dessert or a snack. It is made from our local sweet potatoes, coconut, sugar, spices and raisins.
Our sweet potatoes come with red or a pale cream skin. The flesh is white or pale yellow or sometimes orange. These are not like the North American sweet potatoes, these are more starchy.
To make it you will need 1 grated the coconut, I did mine in the blender with about 1-2 cups of water however you will have to cut the coconut in small pieces for the blender, 1 large sweet potato grated, 1-2 cups of sugar, zest of lime, pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, dash of angostura bitters.

Here I have cut up the peeled sweet potato to use in the food processor.
The sweet potato should look like this after grating or mincing in the food processor. It will turn a bit discoloured but that is not a problem.
You should have about 2 cups of water added to the grated coconut making a milky mixture, if the blender cannot hold it all the water, you can add it after it has been removed from the blender.
grated coconut and water mixture
Mix the some of coconut milk with potato mixture in a large bowl, add about 1-2 cups of sugar or sweeten to your desire, stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in a generous pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, some lime zest and a couple dashes of Angostura bitters. Add about a 1/2 cup of raisins and mix thoroughly. The mixture should look like a fairly thick porridge and pourable. If the mixture is too stiff add some more of the grated coconut milk mixture little at a time. If all the coconut has been used you can add some plain water, a little at a time until the right consistency is reached.

Pour into a 2 1/2 to 3 inch deep greased pie dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until it is golden brown or when there is no more liquid on the top and brown at the sides. For variations, you can add some grated cassava, pumpkin or tania eddoes. Remember the drier the mixture the crustier it will become. I prefer it both with a crust and without. If you use foil tins remember these will cook faster than glass or stoneware. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices or cubes and serve warm or chilled with some rum sauce and whipped cream. Refrigerate after cooling. I prefer eating it the next day after it has been thoroughly chilled. Delicioso!


  1. My mouth is watering! We make a similar dish with sweet potato and coconut milk, but that is not baked, but steamed.

  2. Hi Helen, even if we don't have that i can fully visualize and relate to the taste, as we all have those ingredients except maybe for Angostura bitters, which i dont know. We have some delicacies involving the root crops also with coconut milk or young coconut. Have you tried utilising the young coconut instead of the old, and you can still add the milk! I bet it will more delicious.

  3. Hi Helen, looks delicious.
    I still remember my first taste of pone, my mother made it with cassava, pumpkin and coconut and I thought it just heavenly.
    BTW I wil be in BIM in 2 weeks so will let you know.

  4. How interesting! I must get hold of some sweet potatoes and try this. It looks yummy!

  5. I just have to try that, it looks wonderful!

  6. ... would have liked to see the sliced version for its consistency


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