Caribbean cuisine – Callaloo

A vegetable dish with roots in West Africa, callaloo was brought to the Caribbean by slaves and is still a vital part of diets on Jamaica and Dominica plus Trinidad and Tobago.

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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch dasheen leaves (root vegetable of the Caribbean or tarrow root)
  • 15 okra (soft tips, cut into 1 inch pieces )
  • 2 stems chives (chopped coarsely)
  • 1 onion (medium, sliced)
  • 1 sprig thyme (stem and leaves)
  • 1 bunch celery (chopped roughly)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 whole hot pepper
  • 1 pimentos (chopped)
  • 2 12 cups coconut milk (freshly squeezed, coconut milk powder or frozen can be used)
  • 14 lb salted pork tail (adding pig tail is optional. Boil out salt 30 mins in water until tender and cut in to 1inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

 

1.Separate leaves from stems. Thoroughly wash leaves and strip the stems. Tear leaves apart with hands into smaller pieces. Chop stems into about 2 inches length.

2.Add all the ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 20 mins or until the okra seeds turn pink.

3.Taste and season with salt & pepper if necessary.

4.When the callaloo is done the leaves and okras should be tender and there should be enough liquid to blend the ingredients. If not add a little warm water to bring to a soup consistency.

5.Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the pork tails before blending.

6.Using a hand blender, blend the callaloo until all the ingredients are pureed.

7.Store in a clean pot with pork tails and reheat before serving.

8.Serve with rice, stewed Caribbean chicken, potato salad, boiled provisions, cole slaw, pigeon peas and macaroni pie.

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