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Callaloo Recipe
Ingredients

  • 500g/llb fresh callaloo or spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • sprig of thyme, crumbled
  • 250g/8oz okra, sliced thinly
  • 900ml/11/2 pints chicken stock
  • few strands of saffron
  • 425ml/14 fl oz coconut milk
  • 250g/8oz crab meat, fresh or canned
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • dash of hot pepper sauce

How To Make Bajan Style Callaloo Soup:

  1. Wash the callaloo or spinach leaves thoroughly under running cold water to remove any dirt. Drain, shake dry and then roughly chop them, cutting out and discarding any hard stems.

  2. Heat the groundnut oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, spring onions and garlic. Fry gently for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the red chilli, turmeric and thyme, and stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the okra and then add the chopped callaloo or spinach leaves. Turn up the heat and cook, stirring, until the leaves start to wilt. Reduce the heat and add the chicken stock and saffron. Bring to the boil, and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and crab meat and stir well. Heat gently for 4-5 minutes and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and hot pepper sauce.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking:35 minutes
Serves: 6

Recipe published in Hamlyn Essential Caribbean: Step-by-step Recipes with Style

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Callaloo Soup

Callaloo (sometimes calaloo) is a Caribbean dish which is extremely popular and originally from Trinidad and Tobago served in Guyana, Jamaica with variants in Barbados, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Haiti, Dominica and the Virgin Islands.

The main ingredient is a leaf vegetable called Taro (known by many names including callaloo, coco, tannia, bhaaji, or dasheen bush). It is delicious and extremely nourishing dish.

Callaloo Soup Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. spinach (or young dasheen leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 doz. okra
  • 1 ham bone or pickled pig tail
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small crabs
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

How to make Callaloo Soup:

Boil ham bone covered with water for about half an hour, or if pig tail is used, cook it until it is soft. In the meantime, chop spinach, okra and onion and set aside. If you are using dasheen leaves, remove skin from stalks before chopping. Then prepare crabs (live), clean and wash thoroughly discarding backs and break into fairly large pieces.

Then in separate skillet melt butter, then add thyme, onions and garlic and saute for a minute. Then add crabs and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. When ham bone or pig tail is ready, add enough water to make 6 cups. Then add spinach and okra and cook over medium heat until tender. Then swizzle mixture or pulverise, so that a smooth thick liquid results. Then combine spinach mixture with crabs and simmer slowly for about 20 minutes.

Add pepper and salt as required. Serve very hot with Ton Ton and salt fish souse. Salt fish is roasted and then made into souse. Note: Dumplings and Tanias may be added at simmering stage.

Recipe by:Yolande Cools-Lartigue author of The Art of Caribbean Cooking.

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