Trinidad Saheena (recipe)

Saheena

I made these traditional Indo-Trinidadian appetizers last year as part of my Eid menu. Chopped spinach stirred into a splitpea flour base and then fried, delish! I prefer mine relatively light , especially when fresh out of the oil, but some make theirs denser. The final result will depend on how thick your prefer your batter. Saheena are perfectly paired with your favourite chutney and some hot pepper sauce, plus since there is so much spinach in them you can tell yourself that it’s practically a salad… right? ;) To date I have not encountered saheena (also spelled sahina) outside of Trinidad and a cursory Google search yielded only Trinidadian pages. I am now quite curious as to whether it goes by different names in other cultures? If you are aware of any other names for this tasty appetizer, do let me know :) Until then, I am submitting this post to the Taste of Terroir ’09. What is Terroir you ask?

From Wikipedia:

Terroir (/tεʀwaʀ/ in French) was originally a French term in wine and coffee appreciation used to denote the special characteristics of geography that bestowed individuality upon the food product. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place” which is embodied in certain qualities, and the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product. …Some writers include history, tradition, vineyard ownership and other factors. The contemporary meaning of the term clearly goes beyond mere geography, but at that point disagreement begins. Some assert that terroir is distinct from the characteristics imparted by the plant variety, the vintage and production methods (vinification, etc.), and is the product of a range of local influences that are transmitted into the character of the product.”

Trinidad Saheena

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb split pea flour
1 lb all-purpose flour
1/2 lb frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp yeast (dissolved in ½ cup of water with 1 tsp. of sugar)
salt to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 medium onion, minced
8 cloves of garlic, minced

METHOD:

1. Mix flours, salt, curry powder, onion, cumin, garlic and dissolved yeast mixture
2. Add chopped spinach and mix to combine (make sure spinach is evenly dispersed)
3. Add water and mix to a soft dropping consistency

4. Leave to rise for no more than one hour
5. Remove by the tablespoon and drop into hot oil

6. Take out with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel paper

This recipe is an exclusive TriniGourmet original. Please do not share it or post it to your site without crediting TriniGourmet.com. A link back to our site is not necessary but always appreciated :)

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    These look wonderful — I had them when we visited Trinidad, but never tried to make my own. Thanks so much for the recipe; I’ve bookmarked.

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    These look wonderful — I had them when we visited Trinidad, but never tried to make my own. Thanks so much for the recipe; I’ve bookmarked.

  • Chataigne

    Can also make them with dasheen bush or bhaji (JA callaloo) as well. Sarina, great recipe, great photography!

  • Chataigne

    Can also make them with dasheen bush or bhaji (JA callaloo) as well. Sarina, great recipe, great photography!

  • Ant

    They really look delicious.
    I wish I saw these before I headed to the Caribbean Market this weekend (about 90 mins away). I found some Trini products…luv’n them!
    I have everything except the split pea powder.

    I may try an Indian Store. We have several of those in the area. Most markets in my area are Hispanic.
    (please excuse me if I am not politically correct with the name usage)

    I will have to keep this in mind.
    …even grabbed a Potato & Chana Roti on the way back home from an Authentic Trinidad Take-Out restaurant. I need to visit Trinidad soon to enjoy it all authentic!

  • Ant

    They really look delicious.
    I wish I saw these before I headed to the Caribbean Market this weekend (about 90 mins away). I found some Trini products…luv’n them!
    I have everything except the split pea powder.

    I may try an Indian Store. We have several of those in the area. Most markets in my area are Hispanic.
    (please excuse me if I am not politically correct with the name usage)

    I will have to keep this in mind.
    …even grabbed a Potato & Chana Roti on the way back home from an Authentic Trinidad Take-Out restaurant. I need to visit Trinidad soon to enjoy it all authentic!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lydia – I think it will bring back even more memories when you get a chance to make it. There’s something so comforting about it :)

    Chataigne – Thanks :)!

    Ant – Wow, sounds like you have access to many of our products… you should be able to find the split pea powder fairly easily in an East Indian store. If not try EverythingTrini.com :) Best Wishes!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lydia – I think it will bring back even more memories when you get a chance to make it. There’s something so comforting about it :)

    Chataigne – Thanks :)!

    Ant – Wow, sounds like you have access to many of our products… you should be able to find the split pea powder fairly easily in an East Indian store. If not try EverythingTrini.com :) Best Wishes!

  • Chataigne

    Ant, if you can’t find split peas powder, you can use chickpea (channa) flour, which is called “besan”.

  • Chataigne

    Ant, if you can’t find split peas powder, you can use chickpea (channa) flour, which is called “besan”.

  • Ant

    Thanks for the BESAN option.

    Yes, I am soooo excited to find this market in MD/DC. There was 2, but the first one had more products from Trinidad.

    It was like everything I had been reading about on this blog and seen on everythingtrini.com had come “to life”. I was THRILLED!!!!

    I even found my candy I LOOOVE from Trinidad.
    I was literlly like a kid in a Candy store.
    I was pulling them off of the shelves!!
    I have 2 full bags at home and will stock up each time I shop there.

    I even found some Shandy Carib that I read about months ago. Can anyone share info on that because I am not a beer person. I was told it doesn’t taste like beer.

    I am putting some recipes together to make a Trini meal for the family. HOWEVER, I have to try it at my home first.

    We have to have some West Indian lineage somewhere in the family. I guess that’s my next project. My fascination is quickly becoming an obsession.

    -Ant
    VA, USA

  • Ant

    Thanks for the BESAN option.

    Yes, I am soooo excited to find this market in MD/DC. There was 2, but the first one had more products from Trinidad.

    It was like everything I had been reading about on this blog and seen on everythingtrini.com had come “to life”. I was THRILLED!!!!

    I even found my candy I LOOOVE from Trinidad.
    I was literlly like a kid in a Candy store.
    I was pulling them off of the shelves!!
    I have 2 full bags at home and will stock up each time I shop there.

    I even found some Shandy Carib that I read about months ago. Can anyone share info on that because I am not a beer person. I was told it doesn’t taste like beer.

    I am putting some recipes together to make a Trini meal for the family. HOWEVER, I have to try it at my home first.

    We have to have some West Indian lineage somewhere in the family. I guess that’s my next project. My fascination is quickly becoming an obsession.

    -Ant
    VA, USA

  • http://foodandlaughter.blogspot.com Bird’s Eye View

    Sareena,

    Interesting recipe – am going to bookmark this for the monsoons. We have something very similar in India – Spinach pakodas ( fritters). We use chickpea flour for the batter and add in a tsp of baking soda to make it crisp + a bit of rice flour. Dip a whole spinach leaf so both sides are coated, deep fry and enjoy in the rains :)

    Bird’s Eye View’s last blog post..Strawberry Fever

  • http://foodandlaughter.blogspot.com Bird’s Eye View

    Sareena,

    Interesting recipe – am going to bookmark this for the monsoons. We have something very similar in India – Spinach pakodas ( fritters). We use chickpea flour for the batter and add in a tsp of baking soda to make it crisp + a bit of rice flour. Dip a whole spinach leaf so both sides are coated, deep fry and enjoy in the rains :)

    Bird’s Eye View’s last blog post..Strawberry Fever

  • Ant

    I made it back to “the market” on Saturday and purchased my split pea flour and other things.(well work the 90 miles drive) I think I have everything else to make this…maybe this weekend. I have my Sorrel Shandy Carib as well.

    GOING MEATLESS for 30 days, so this is perfect.
    I have to check your other recipes during this time as well.

  • Ant

    I made it back to “the market” on Saturday and purchased my split pea flour and other things.(well work the 90 miles drive) I think I have everything else to make this…maybe this weekend. I have my Sorrel Shandy Carib as well.

    GOING MEATLESS for 30 days, so this is perfect.
    I have to check your other recipes during this time as well.

  • http://trinigourmet.com shereen

    hi sarina i live in ny away from the west indain market but always makes the trip to buy stuff for saheena….never made it with the spinach though will taste the same like with the dasheen bush….do u think its worth it to skip the trip to the west indian market???? honestly…..i am like one of those old fashioned person…it can’t be macaroni pie if its not made with trinidad macaroni silly but very hard to shrug off….

    shereen’s last blog post..Caramel Crunch Bars

  • http://trinigourmet.com shereen

    hi sarina i live in ny away from the west indain market but always makes the trip to buy stuff for saheena….never made it with the spinach though will taste the same like with the dasheen bush….do u think its worth it to skip the trip to the west indian market???? honestly…..i am like one of those old fashioned person…it can’t be macaroni pie if its not made with trinidad macaroni silly but very hard to shrug off….

    shereen’s last blog post..Caramel Crunch Bars

  • taneka

    thank you for posting this recipe. me and my daughter would get these from a trini restaurant back home in baltimore,md. since moving here to tennessee, i thought i would never get one again since there is not a big carribean population here. will be buying ingredients to make this weekend!!

  • taneka

    thank you for posting this recipe. me and my daughter would get these from a trini restaurant back home in baltimore,md. since moving here to tennessee, i thought i would never get one again since there is not a big carribean population here. will be buying ingredients to make this weekend!!

  • Nitin

    In india we call this dish as a “Palak Pakode”. It means Palak means Spinach.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks Nitin! I’ve always wondered what the continental Indian name/version was :)

  • Nitin

    In india we call this dish as a “Palak Pakode”. It means Palak means Spinach.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks Nitin! I’ve always wondered what the continental Indian name/version was :)

  • sabi

    This is also know as fish cake in Grenada….we usually put saltfish in them but you can ommit the salfish and add callaloo (dasheen Leaves) for the vegetarian style….and they awesome either way. BTW I really love this site

  • sabi

    This is also know as fish cake in Grenada….we usually put saltfish in them but you can ommit the salfish and add callaloo (dasheen Leaves) for the vegetarian style….and they awesome either way. BTW I really love this site

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  • http://www.tt-abvg.com Aldric Left

    Yes I Sarina, nice one…

    This one is extra special…

    Many thanks for posting this…

  • http://www.tt-abvg.com Aldric Left

    Yes I Sarina, nice one…

    This one is extra special…

    Many thanks for posting this…

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  • paula

    im new and i would love to make saheena, polorie, alloo pies .cause my husband love these things and i cant make it i want help.im good at cooking other foods not these things it sucks,need help.

  • paula

    im new and i would love to make saheena, polorie, alloo pies .cause my husband love these things and i cant make it i want help.im good at cooking other foods not these things it sucks,need help.

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