Bananas in Coconut Milk (Kluay Buat Chii)

by Lina Lotto, SenSpa director

Lina Lotto is a wellness expert who has been director of the luxury Thai SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel in the New Forest village of Brockenhurst for 14 years.

She has a long-standing reputation in the industry, with 20 years of expertise across Asia, Australia and the UK.

Here, she shares her favourite pudding recipe for Kluay Buat Chii – bananas in coconut milk – as made by the chefs in the spa’s Zen Garden restaurant.

Lina says: “This yummy Thai vegan dish is easy to make and not easily forgotten. I clearly remember the first time I tasted Kluay Buat Chii - I was so impressed by the depth of flavour and its simplicity.

“Of course, there are many more banana varieties in Thailand that are tastier and texturally more interesting than the bland Cavendish variety singularly sold in the UK, but it does work with British-bought bananas, too.

“I have used this recipe many times as a dessert when friends pop in for an impromptu meal as there is always a can of coconut milk in the store cupboard and usually a banana or two. In fact, this dish only has four ingredients – banana, coconut milk, sugar and salt. The art is in balancing the sugar and salt.

“The concept of dessert does not exist in Thailand. Sweet foods are generally eaten as a snack, so you are most likely to see Kluay Buat Chii sold in the late afternoon or evening by street vendors, packaged up in a plastic bag and cunningly sealed with an elastic band that is released with a gentle pull.

“If you make this as a dessert at home, try sprinkling a few toasted sesame seeds on top. They work beautifully.”

Kluay Buat Chii

Serves 4


4 bananas

200ml coconut milk

100g sugar

1 tsp salt


Slice the bananas in half then slice the halves lengthways. Add them to the coconut milk and gently bring to the boil. Cook until the bananas are soft but not so soft that they fall apart.

Take off the boil, add the sugar and salt, stir and serve with toasted sesame seeds if you wish.

For a creamier texture add some coconut cream after the sugar and salt and stir in.

Served hot, warm or cool, this is always wonderfully delicious!

Lina Lotto has a lifelong interest in health, wellbeing and meditative practice. She is a Reiki Master, a workshop leader in massage, dance, meditation, voice toning, rhythm and stress management, and is a judge and speaker at various national and international spa awards.