Asian cuisine is full of delicious sweets, but they're more often eaten as snacks during the day, rather than as a final course at dinner. The traditional fruit platter can be a bit of an anticlimax, and red-bean soup might not be to everyone's taste - so here's a suggestion that might help you end your dinner party with a bang. This Malaysian dish is about as easy as it gets, and it's delicious to boot.
150g palm sugar, roughly chopped
6 bananas, slightly underripe, cut into large, irregular pieces
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
2 pandan leaves, tied in a knot, or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
a good pinch of salt
1. Bring the water and palm sugar to the boil together in a large saucepan, stirring to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved. When boiling, add the bananas, coconut milk, pandan leaves or vanilla, and salt. Stir gently and bring back to the boil. As soon as the coconut milk boils, remove the pot from the heat.
2. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled with cubes of ice floating in it for a refreshing summer dessert.