Yield: 4 servings
Peel the cooled taro and cut into 1-inch cubes. Grind the taro in a meat grinder, place the ground taro in a calabash (wooden bowl) and use a poi pounder to mash the taro. Wet your other hand, slip it under the taro and turn the pounded taro over so that it will not stickto the calabash. Continue to mash and turn the pounded taro over each time. Wet the poi pounder from time to time so it does not stick and keep working at it until it is smooth and thick. Poi which has not been mixed with water may be kept at room temperature for several days by keeping it in the calabash and covering it with a damp cloth.
If the poi is kept in a refrigerator it should be mixed with water before storing.
To mix: Add a little water and stir round and round with the hand until all the water is absorbed. Keep adding water a little at a time until poi is the consistency as thick or as thin as you like to eat it. Store in a cool place or serve immediately. Or let it stand 2 to 3 days for a sour flavor.
Recipes from Phillipe Padovani, Executive Chef, Manele Bay Hotel