Trinidad Callaloo (vegetarian)

Trinidad Callaloo

Callaloo is a fond memory for many Trinidadians, myself included, however I did not know that many foreigners consider it to be our national dish! My mother told me that the first thing she often did for visiting friends (her first 10 years in Trinidad) was take them for some of this dish. She says that even though Jamaica has a dish called callaloo with basically the same ingredients the final result is quite different from ours.

Callaloo is basically a thick soup of pureed ‘callaloo bush’, okra and various seasonings and additions, sometimes crab, sometimes salted meat. For those who don’t have access to ‘callaloo bush’ (also known as dasheen or taro), I’ve been known to use bhaji in a pinch (no huge difference in taste), and many overseas cooks use spinach with more than acceptable results. For kashrut reasons my version is 100% vegetarian but I think it was quite tasty :)


From Wikipedia:
.
Callaloo (sometimes calaloo) is a Caribbean dish that is most popular in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Jamaica (known as pepperpot). The main ingredient of which is a leaf vegetable, traditionally either amaranth (known by many local names including callaloo or bhaji), or taro or Xanthosoma species (both known by many local names including callaloo, coco, tannia, or dasheen bush). Because the leaf vegetable used in some regions may be locally called “callaloo” or “callaloo bush”, some confusion can arise among the different vegetables and with the dish itself. Outside of the Caribbean, spinach is occasionally used.
.
Plant sources for Callaloo leaves
.
* Taro – also called dasheen in the West Indies the leaves of this root crop are used in the Trinidadian version of the dish
* Tannia or Malanga called calalu in Puerto Rico
* Amaranth species include Amaranthus spinosus used in the West Indies and A. flavus is a yellow variety used in Brazil and known as caruru
* Pokeweed species Phtolacca octandra or West Indian foxglove
* Nightshade species Solanum nodiflorum
.
Callaloo is almost always made with okra and dasheen or spinach. There are many variations of callaloo which may include coconut milk, crab, Caribbean lobster, meats, chile peppers, and other seasonings. The ingredients are added and simmered down to a soup or stew consistency. When done, callaloo is dark green in color and is served as a soup or a side dish which may be used as a gravy for other food.
.
Callaloo is widely known throughout the Caribbean and has a distinctively Caribbean origin, created by African slaves using ideas of the indigenous people along with both African (okra) and indigenous (Xanthosoma) plants.

Trinidad Callaloo (vegetarian) (adapted from the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)

INGREDIENTS:

About 12 dasheen leaves (or bhagi or large spinach)
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp butter
1 scotch bonnet pepper
8 ochroes
2 sprigs thyme
1 onion
4 chives
1 cup boiling water
1 pack Maggi fish/vegetable seasoning

Trinidad Callaloo

METHOD:

1. Strip the stalks and midrib from the dasheen leaves (if using) and wash well
2. Wash and cut up the ochroes and seasonings

Trinidad Callaloo

3. Put all the ingredients, except the butter, into a pot with the boiling water and simmer until everything is soft (keep the hot pepper near the surface)

Trinidad Callaloo

4. Remove the pepper and blend the ingredients into a puree
5. Add the butter

Trinidad Callaloo

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  • Sebastian Wahl

    nice!

  • Sebastian Wahl

    nice!

  • Brian Blackman

    Hi i was born and grew up in Trinidad. I live in Kansas City, USA. I am a Corperate Chef and also a Culinary Teacher. This website i discovered a few weeks ago has helped me. It is where i looked for stuff i forgot and the comments help as well, i teach some people about caribban, Trini cooking sometimes it is so intreasting to people thanks for your help.

  • Brian Blackman

    Hi i was born and grew up in Trinidad. I live in Kansas City, USA. I am a Corperate Chef and also a Culinary Teacher. This website i discovered a few weeks ago has helped me. It is where i looked for stuff i forgot and the comments help as well, i teach some people about caribban, Trini cooking sometimes it is so intreasting to people thanks for your help.

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Happy to help Brian!! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Happy to help Brian!! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Happy to help Brian!! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Happy to help Brian!! :)

  • Chataigne

    Try adding pumpkin, tomato, and later, dumpling in your ital callaloo – sweet. You know Grenadian’s put dumplin’ in dey callaloo?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Chataigne, way gyul! :) Thanks for the tips… that dumpling idea sounding nice… I love a soft dumpling!!!

  • Chataigne

    Try adding pumpkin, tomato, and later, dumpling in your ital callaloo – sweet. You know Grenadian’s put dumplin’ in dey callaloo?

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Chataigne, way gyul! :) Thanks for the tips… that dumpling idea sounding nice… I love a soft dumpling!!!

  • Chataigne

    No horrors, Sis, but dis Chataigne is all man :)

  • Chataigne

    No horrors, Sis, but dis Chataigne is all man :)

  • Hart

    Question to Brian Blackman, by chance are you one of Aunty Greta’s sons? I think my father, Richard Hart has a cousin named Brian Blackman. I’m actually studying Culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Miami. This site is really helpful indeed although I just e-mail my mum for recipes most of the time.

  • Hart

    Question to Brian Blackman, by chance are you one of Aunty Greta’s sons? I think my father, Richard Hart has a cousin named Brian Blackman. I’m actually studying Culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Miami. This site is really helpful indeed although I just e-mail my mum for recipes most of the time.

  • Hart

    Question to Brian Blackman, by chance are you one of Aunty Greta’s sons? I think my father, Richard Hart has a cousin named Brian Blackman. I’m actually studying Culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Miami. This site is really helpful indeed although I just e-mail my mum for recipes most of the time.

  • Hart

    Question to Brian Blackman, by chance are you one of Aunty Greta’s sons? I think my father, Richard Hart has a cousin named Brian Blackman. I’m actually studying Culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Miami. This site is really helpful indeed although I just e-mail my mum for recipes most of the time.

  • jim busher

    Thank you for your recipes… While cooking the leaves is wonderful… What ia your thought or experience by including the roots in with the greens? Thanks, Jim

  • jim busher

    Thank you for your recipes… While cooking the leaves is wonderful… What ia your thought or experience by including the roots in with the greens? Thanks, Jim

  • indira goorahoo

    don’t forget to put some pig tail in that callalloo.i lived in trinidad and moved to new hampshire 11 years ago,my dad made the best callalloo by putting some pig tail in there.

  • indira goorahoo

    don’t forget to put some pig tail in that callalloo.i lived in trinidad and moved to new hampshire 11 years ago,my dad made the best callalloo by putting some pig tail in there.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      This is a kosher site Indira. I don’t eat pig.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      This is a kosher site Indira. I don’t eat pig.

  • indira goorahoo

    don’t forget to put some pig tail in that callalloo.i lived in trinidad and moved to new hampshire 11 years ago,my dad made the best callalloo by putting some pig tail in there.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      This is a kosher site Indira. I don’t eat pig.

  • indira goorahoo

    sorry about the pig tail,,i didn’t know it was kosher,,but it still taste so good.

  • indira goorahoo

    sorry about the pig tail,,i didn’t know it was kosher,,but it still taste so good.

  • Sharon

    Sarina,
    Thank you for the wonderful veg and kosher options. I live in Chicago and wanted something vegetarian and spicy to bring my coworkers for Channunka. I will use this recipe and the one for curried latkes.
    Sharon

  • Sharon

    Sarina,
    Thank you for the wonderful veg and kosher options. I live in Chicago and wanted something vegetarian and spicy to bring my coworkers for Channunka. I will use this recipe and the one for curried latkes.
    Sharon

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Can anyone share a receipe for Kurie ( I am not sure of the spelling) I left Trinidad very young and don’t have to many relatives left to help with this dish. Please sure your with me.

    Thanks

    Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Can anyone share a receipe for Kurie ( I am not sure of the spelling) I left Trinidad very young and don’t have to many relatives left to help with this dish. Please sure your with me.

    Thanks

    Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Can anyone share a receipe for Kurie ( I am not sure of the spelling) I left Trinidad very young and don’t have to many relatives left to help with this dish. Please sure your with me.

    Thanks

    Elizabeth

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Indira – no probs :)

    Sharon – Hope it turned out to your liking :)

    Elizabeth – Hmm you may be talking about kachourie? Try this recipe here… www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/trinidad-kachourie-recipe/ best wishes! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Indira – no probs :)

    Sharon – Hope it turned out to your liking :)

    Elizabeth – Hmm you may be talking about kachourie? Try this recipe here… www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/trinidad-kachourie-recipe/ best wishes! :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Indira – no probs :)

    Sharon – Hope it turned out to your liking :)

    Elizabeth – Hmm you may be talking about kachourie? Try this recipe here… www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/trinidad-kachourie-recipe/ best wishes! :)

  • Brian

    Thank you all so much! Very proud of meh Trini roots and a great place to get recipes that often forgotten or only know by listening to me moms. Also great location to send friends that always asking me how to cook Trini food, especially tings like Roti and Doubles.

    Much Success!

  • Brian

    Thank you all so much! Very proud of meh Trini roots and a great place to get recipes that often forgotten or only know by listening to me moms. Also great location to send friends that always asking me how to cook Trini food, especially tings like Roti and Doubles.

    Much Success!

  • Earl

    Nice site to be a part of. Always looking for cooking ideas as I am not a cook but love my Trini dishes

  • Earl

    Nice site to be a part of. Always looking for cooking ideas as I am not a cook but love my Trini dishes

  • Earl

    Nice site to be a part of. Always looking for cooking ideas as I am not a cook but love my Trini dishes

  • Earl

    Nice site to be a part of. Always looking for cooking ideas as I am not a cook but love my Trini dishes

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