The Corner cooks Sabee Sabee Kumala
The activity will see children using a few simple ingredients and instructions to cook a very common island dish called ‘Sabee Sabee Kumala’. The activity will allow children to explore traditional cooking methods and food nutrition in the Torres Strait.
Traditionally Torres Strait Islanders are hunters and gatherers. Men usually hunted animals like dugongs, turtles and netted for fish as they were the main source of protein available and, in some instances, the only source of protein accessible. Women collected coconuts, wild fruits, root vegetables and shells. Gardening was also a very important element for food source. Gardens were well looked after and replenished regularly, and the tradition of gardening still continues today.
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Diet, cooking, abundant, nutrition, ingredients
Ingredients (Serves 4)
250g sweet potato
250g yam or/and taro
1 small onion
4 green bananas (cooking bananas, if available),
200ml of coconut milk)
Salt to taste
Before you begin cooking this recipe – refer to The Corner Cooks interesting facts. Familiarise yourself with Torres Strait Islander traditional cooking methods, food supply and nutritional information and use this as a basis for the conversation you have as you prepare the food.
Sabee Sabee Kumala
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 20 - 25min
Step 1: Preparing Ingredients
Wash vegetables removing skins and dice sweet potato, pumpkin and taro (or yam) into roughly 25mm (about one knuckle long) cubes.
- Where do these vegetables come from? In the ground or from a tree?
Step 2: Boiling
Pop all Ingredients into a saucepan and add coconut milk and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally and adding salt to taste. While it simmers for about ten minutes scrape out the banana pulp and cut into pieces.
- Where does coconut milk come from?
Step 3: Serving
Once your vegetables are soft and cooked, prepare a plate to serve your Sabee Sabee Kumala! Help mum/teacher tidy the table top and select colourful plates for each of our guests and hosts.
- Sabee Sabee Kumala is usually served with cooked Jasmine rice or another very common Torres Strait Islander dumpling as a side called “Doughboy” which is a dumpling like side made from flour and water (commonly) and sometimes Cassava and Taro (Occasionally) - Refer to Traditional Food form the Torres Strait By Ron Edwards’ for Doughboy recipe.
- Explain to children that Islanders serve food to elders first and sharing best portion of food evenly is a very important moral in their culture.
- Explain that many Torres Strait Islander food recipes vary from person to person with some recipes and secret ingredients remaining only to one family. Ask children to thing about other secret ingredients they might like to add to their Sabee Sabee Kumala next time.
- Sweet potato, pumpkin, yam or taro 250g each - If you are only using two of these veggies or if you have a vegetable preference, you need 325g of each ingredient.
- *For smaller serves of two, simply halve the amount of ingredients above and use a smaller saucepan so it can keep the veggies still covered well in coconut milk.
- Babies and toddlers will require an adult to cut and prepare ingredients for them.
- Supervise children at all times around the stove and get them accustomed to kitchen safety – helping them associate words with kitchen appliances for example Stove = hot.
- Serve it with your favourite drink.
Last updated: 24th September 2014
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