Mala Rabia (Guava and Plantain in Syrup)

Mala Rabia (Guava and plantain in syrup)

When one of our forum regulars asked us about this recipe, which I had never heard of before, I was convinced it was a joke, with a name that roughly translates as “bad rage”, it had to be, right?

Lesson learned: never underestimate Dominican’s creativity when it comes to naming our food something bizarre.

Mala Rabia (Guava and plantain in syrup)

And therein lies one of the beauties of food blogging. I learn almost as much from my readers as they learn from me. I have discovered many a Dominican dish this way. Another wonderful thing about what I do is that I discover the generosity of many a Dominican cook, willing to take me into their kitchens and share with me their family recipes. Perhaps they do not want it lost to time.

Mala Rabia (Guava and plantain in syrup)

Some recipes are harder to find than others. Some of the recipes in our blog have required trips to remote parts of our country, some require leaps of faith when we have had to try foods in less than sterile conditions. Luckily we never came home with anything worse than great memories and perhaps a few extra pounds.

Mala Rabia (Guava and plantain in syrup)

After inquiring for some days I found someone who knew what it was, and gave me the recipe. What do you know, that someone’s granddaughter was sitting right next to me in my office.

Thanks to Doña Elsa Rincón for teaching me how to prepare this dish. I also learned from her that there are two version of this this dessert: with or without milk. We give you both choices.

Aunt Clara
Mala Rabia (Guava and Plantain in Syrup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Mala Rabia (Guava and Plantain in Syrup): Odd names and unusual ingredients, but don't freak out, you will love this delicious Dominican dessert.
Serves: 6 servings
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 3 large guavas
  • 1 very ripe plantain, diced
  • 1 cup of sweet potato, diced
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of sweet, condensed milk (optional) [see notes]
  1. Wash the guavas and halve. Scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon. Cut the guavas into wedges and reserve both guava and seeds.
  2. Boil the seeds along with the cinnamon over medium heat in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Add water if it becomes necessary to maintain 2 cups of liquid.
  3. Remove from the heat and sieve, discard the solids.
  4. Pour the liquid back into a pot and add sugar, plantains, sweet potatoes and a cup of water.
  5. Boil over medium heat until all the ingredients are cooked throughout. Add water as it becomes necessary to maintain the same level of liquid.
  6. Add the guava wedges and boil for another five minutes, let enough of the liquid evaporate to obtain a light syrup.
  7. Chill before serving. If you want to add milk, do it now.
For this recipe you will need fresh guava, but if can't find it, then we suggest you buy them canned.

While the vast majority of people who have actually tried this dish do not add milk to it, I have found a couple that have. Feel free to try whichever you think you'd like.
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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Cat Landis February 5, 2013, 1:00 AM

    Just FYI, what we call in Dominican Republic batata is our sweet potato, which is white not orange like the US sweet potato. To get the Dominican one look for Boniato at the store. The flavors are so different, the end result of the dish will not be the same if they are interchanged, but if you can’t find it, by all means just do it with what’s at hand.