Ten uses of Banana Leaves in Cuisines from around the world

It is a universal fact that certain scrumptious dishes have a therapeutic effect on us. From feel-good home food to flavoursome traditional recipes that instantly take you back to times filled with family, fun and fond memories, good food is what connects us all. However, the one thing common to a main-dish served in Mexico and a sinful dessert made in the Philippines is the humble banana leaf. Apart from being used as a base to eat your food on, there are many other uses of banana leaves that have taken global cuisines by storm. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


Hailing from the culture-rich region of Central America, Tamales is a wholesome steamed dish of boneless pork, heavenly plum tomatoes and fresh ancho chiles wrapped in a blanket of nourishing banana leaves.

Som Nuer

Treat your taste buds to fried beef cutlets preserved in aromatic banana leaves – a staple dish served in Thailand.

Cochinita pibil

Next time you visit Mexico, make sure you indulge in mouth-watering Cochinita pibil – a whole suckling pig roasted in nutritious banana leaves.

Barbequed snapper with sambal belacan

Snapper seasoned with delicious belacan dressing and barbequed with banana leaves is a popular dish served in Australian fine-dining restaurants.


Why not indulge in some African cuisine by opting for this mouth-watering dish from Uganda? Luwombo – A popular dish cooked in the holiday season – is a generous serving of fish and meat wrapped in a blanket of banana leaves.


This dish is often prepared as a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico. It features wholesome pork and fresh green bananas steamed with banana leaves. Yummy.

Sticky rice

A sweet and savoury dish hailing from the kitchens of South East Asia, sticky rice seasoned with spicy chicken, tuna or mixed vegetables and steamed with banana leaves is a must-try for all food fanatics.

Sea bass grilled in banana leaf

Take a walk down the streets of Indonesia, and there is a high chance you will bump into a street-food cart grilling some delicious sea bass, wrapped in a banana leaf. This staple dish is vibrant in colour and full of flavour.


A popular dessert in the Philippines – Bibingka is a coconut cake baked in a lining of banana leaves. This scrumptious dish scales high on both the health meter and taste points.

Ela Ada

Of course, we had to add an Indian dish to this list! Ela Ada is a low-calorie sweet dish from Kerala. Treat yourself to these mouth-watering rice pancakes stuffed with jaggery and coconut, steamed in a blanket of humble banana leaves.

Which of these dishes are going to be added to your must-try list? It is time you indulge in the various uses of banana leaves and treat your taste buds. Whatever be your favourite, make sure you enhance its taste with the magical flavours and aromatics of On1y featuring the 5 spices you can use in anything, and reach a blissful state of food coma!

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