This sticky, baked pumpkin and coconut dessert is thickened with manihot (or cassava) root, and on Poruma in the Torres Strait it’s harvested and treated to make a flour.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

You can make it at home without the hassle using tapioca starch.


  • 1 medium-sized Jap pumpkin
  • ⅔ cup cassava flour or tapioca starch (see Note)
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • shredded coconut, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe has been edited and may differ from the episode.

1. Cut pumpkin into large, even slices. Steam for 20-30 minutes or until very soft.

2. Once the pumpkin is cool to touch, use a large spoon to scrape the flesh off the skin into a large bowl. Mash the cooked pumpkin well until smooth.

3. Sift over cassava flour or tapioca starch and mix well to combine, then place the mix into a roasting tray and smooth into an even layer.

4. Bake at 180ºC for 20-30 minutes til golden at the edges and cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.

5. Meanwhile, mix sugar and coconut milk over low heat and mix til sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

6. To serve, pour coconut sauce over the pumpkin pudding, then scoop away small pieces of pudding, coating with the coconut milk as you serve. Top each portion with a little shredded coconut.


Tapioca starch is extracted from the cassava root, whereas cassava flour is the whole root dried and ground. Cassava flour has more fibre and offers a nuttier flavour than the tapioca starch.


Taste the Torres Strait on Strait to the Plate with Aaron Fa'aoso on SBS Food, NITV and SBS On Demand