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Niuean Takihi

This beautifully creamy, sweet yet savoury Niuean treat is made from taro, coconut cream and pawpaw. Recipe by Yetta Simi.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Niuean
Keyword coconut cream, Niue, papaya, pawpaw, taro
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
2 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 15
Author Koni


  • 3 large white taro
  • 6 ripe pawpaw
  • 2 large orange kumara to use in case you run out of pawpaw. Pawpaw is expensive in New Zealand
  • 1.5 litres rich coconut cream. Since we're not in Niue we used Kara for its thick, rich, creaminess.
  • tapioca flour
  • salt
  • large baking tray
  • foil
  • large roasting oven bags weird I know but wait for it


The prep

  1. Preheat your oven to fan bake at 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel off the skins from the taro, pawpaw and kumara, then slice thinly (approximately 50mm thick).
  3. Prepare your baking tray by lining it with foil. Cut open the roasting oven bags and continue lining the tray placing them on top of the foil. You will want some of the oven bag lining to hang over the sides of the oven tray to fold over the mountain of assembled Takihi.

Assembling the dish

  1. It's the layering time. With the first layer, make sure that the bottom of the oven tray is completely covered. The layering is in this order - taro, pawpaw, salt, tapioca lastly coconut cream.  Continue the layers until all the ingredients are used up, or until the tray is full If you run out of pawpaw, use the kumara as the substitute.
  2. Cover the assembled Niuean Takihi with the overhanging oven bag liner and foil, then cover the entire top with 2 layers of extra foil.
  3. Place it in your oven to cook for at least 90 min and let the sweet aroma fill your home.
  4. Once cooked, pull it out of the oven and let it cool for at least 30 min - 1 hour before cutting to serve.
  5. And we're done!!! 

     Your home is now filled with the sweet aroma of Niuean Takihi and you probably have at least two extra families visiting unexpectedly because somehow they heard through the coconut wireless network that Takihi was on your table lol.

Recipe Notes

Yetta's Niuean Takihi tips: - Lining the oven tray with foil and oven bags will help keep the shape, helps evenly cook the takihi and keeps it moist, and reduces the elbow work in cleaning the oven tray. - Slightly brown on the bottom indicates your Takihi is perfectly cooked. - Is best served with Niuean raw fish - This tip is probably the most valuable - prepare the Takihi love, care, laughter and fun with your family and friends. I can assure you that you will enjoy each bite and taste the love and joy that created it. This is the real secret to Yetta's perfect Niuean Takihi