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). Thanks to Titilayo I now know 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 (who knew 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! 😀

Paime (from theThe Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)


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 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 pt. water
twine for tying

Mise en Place

1. Grate coconut and pumpkin (I decided to try out this cassava farine that includes coconut, sugar and spices. It worked out quite well!)


2. Add all other ingredients
3. Stir in enough water to make a dough of dropping consistency (I think 2 1/2 – 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)


12 little paimes, all in a row 😀


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.

Makes 12 paimes

Spelling variations: paimee, paimie


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