With the different variations there are to a good callaloo, I decided to post my mom's callaloo recipe. Unlike my wife's callaloo that's a little thicker, my mom's callaloo is a little more fluid and spicy. This is the callaloo I grew up on. Every Sunday morning as a rule, right before going to church, the dasheen bush would be in a large bowl already chopped up and I would be bursting a coconut for her to grate to make the coconut milk.
Back then there wasn't any coconut powder or "osterizer" to blend the coconut, so everything had to be done by hand. But this was fun; I used to walk with a little cup to collect the sweet coconut water when I burst the coconut.
A Spicy Callaloo
In fact I developed a technique to bursting the coconut. I used to target the "eye" of the coconut because it would break easily when struck there. Then I would hit the other side of the coconut, the "point", because if it was not broken properly, it made it difficult to extract the kernel. I would know because I got a few "digs" in my palm well, trying to take out the kernel from this area when the knife slipped (one reason to use a dull knife to remove the kernel!)
As for the other ingredients: we usually planted the ochro, pimento peppers and hot peppers in the kitchen garden or we would go to the market the Saturday before. The market used to be real fun, but that will have to be another story..... Too much to talk about: the sights; the sounds; the bachannal 🙂 Here's callaloo.
1 large bundle dasheen bush
2 packs coconut milk
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
2 sprigs chive, chopped
3 pimento peppers, chopped
1 sprig thyme, chopped
½ cup pumpkin, chopped
8 large ochroes, chopped
salt to taste
1 hot pepper
Water ( about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon roucou
Cut up the dasheen bush and wash. Place in a large pot.
Note: Remove the tips of the dasheen bush before cutting it up.
and hot pepper. add the water and put to boil.
Note: You would notice in the recipe I said 1 hot pepper, but you are seeing me add a piece of pepper. The pepper we used is the famous congo pepper ( note its brown colour) and because of it's high heat level you cannot use the whole pepper in this recipe. It is very, very, very hot ( see how many time I say very) 🙂
Boil until the ingredients are tender. Add salt to taste. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Leave to cool.
When cooled, blend until smooth.
- What is the best dasheen bush to use for this callaloo recipe? It would seem that the smaller leaves of the dasheen plant cooks faster. However, the larger leaves do take a little longer to cook. You should note that the younger leaves are higher in oxalates than the older leaves. Do make sure your callaloo has enough water that makes it looks like a slightly thick soup.
- What can I serve callaloo with? You can serve it with meat and your favourite rice (such as saffron rice) dish. You can serve broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, peas, or zucchini as side dishes. You can have a fruit juice with your meal as well.
- What is the serving size for callaloo? Generally, a half cup is served for a meal. Callaloo is not eaten by itself.
Anyhow, more to come. Until then, Ah gone!