Total Calories: 594
1. Prepare the sauce. Place the sugar in a large, deep, heavy saucepan (preferably nonstick) and melt it over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. (It will take the sugar 2 to 3 minutes to melt.) Continue cooking the sugar until it begins to caramelize (turn brown), 3 to 5 minutes. You’re looking for a rich brown color, but not the dark brown of chocolate. Do not overcook, or the sugar will burn and the sauce will be bitter.
2. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (Be careful, it will sputter and hiss.) Return the pan to the heat and bring the coconut milk to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cinnamon stick and lemongrass. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture, uncovered, until thick and richly flavored, about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent scorching.
3. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir it into the sauce. Simmer for 1 minute the sauce will thicken even more. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the sauce to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemongrass with tongs and discard. Cover and refrigerate the sauce until cold.
4. Preheat the grill to high.
5. Peel the bananas. Cut the bananas into quarters on the diagonal. Place the coconut milk and sugar in separate shallow bowls at grillside.
6. When ready to cook, oil the grate. Dip each banana piece first in coconut milk, then in sugar, and place on the hot grate. Grill, turning with tongs, until nicely browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes in all.
7. To serve, arrange the bananas on plates or in bowls and spoon the sauce on top. If serving with ice cream, place scoops of it in the bowls and arrange the bananas on top. Spoon the caramel sauce on top and serve immediately.
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