Trinidad Paime (recipe)

As promised, here is a recipe for Paime (pron. PAY-me)! Paime is basically a sweet version of the savoury pastelle. I only recently discovered that Paime is also a traditional Xmas dish. Well that explains why it seemed I never could find it lol! No one in my family makes this traditionally, so I have only been offered/given it by acquaintances of myself or my family. It is definitely a favorite of mine, being sweet (yet not candyish) and slightly chewy in texture (like a pone). Several years ago I learnt from a fellow blogger,  Titilayo,  that in Barbados they also have a dish that is similar to paime, but they call it conkie and eat it around the time of Guy Fawkes day (I hadn’t even known that anyone in the Caribbean observed it!). Unlike paime it includes milk, flour and eggs. Jamaica also has a similar dish to Paime, but there they call it by several different names, some of which are Tie-A-Leaf, Blue Drawers (no don’t ask me why!), and Duckanoo …. we’re an interesting lot us Caribbean types! 😀

Trinidad Paime (recipe)
Serves: 12
  • 1 grated coconut
  • 1 lb. cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. dried fruit
  • banana leaves
  • 1 lb. pumpkin
  • 1 oz. shortening
  • 1 oz. margarine
  • sugar to taste
  • (I used 1½ cups)
  • ½ pt. water
  • twine for tying
  1. Grate coconut and pumpkin
  2. Add all other ingredients
  3. Stir in enough water to make a dough of dropping consistency (I think 2½ - 3 cups in all will do)
  4. Wipe banana leaves and heat them to make them pliable (or use foil if you're lazy like me :P)
  5. Cut into pieces about about 8" by 8"
  6. Place about 2 tbsp. mixture on each piece
  7. Roll up, fold over and tie. (Click here for a video on how to fold the leaf/foil)
  8. Place in boiling water and boil for about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Test one to see if it has set, if not, cook for a longer period of time, depending on size of paime.

Spelling variations: paimee, paimie