It was Nimran who first told me about Nang Tani. We were walking along the road which led out of the village past the rice fields on our way to collect wild basil for dinner. On the other side of the road was a clump of banana trees tied with colourful cloth much like the one below.
I looked at her quizzically.
“Nang Tani,” she said. “She lives in those trees. When the banana flowers she becomes visible to humans. Here. Lets give her something and she reached into the basket she was carrying and gave her some custard apples.”
That night I stayed up late trying to imagine what she looked like in the moonlight. I planned middle of the night excursions with my best friend Jet to try and see her. I wasn’t scared and I imagined her to be very beautiful. We left the village some time later and often on a dreary grey English day I could be seen gazing out of the classroom window into the distance looking for Nang Tani. I wonder if that old clump of banana trees is still there with its bright pink and red satin ribbons. I certainly hope so.
This recipe uses a different type of banana as Tani bananas are inedible.
4 medium bananas, not overripe
1 – 13.5 oz can of Coconut Milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peel bananas and cut into diagonal pieces, about 2” each.
Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the Coconut Milk, sugar, and salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and add bananas, being careful not to splash yourself.
Simmer for two minutes, until bananas are just heated through.
Serve warm in individual bowls, with a dash of brown sugar on top and toasted coconut, if desired.