What really is callaloo? Is it a soup? Is it a sauce? Well it's both, depending on the person making it, because everyone makes it according to their liking. From my experience I've eaten callaloo of various viscosity ( for want of a better word). I've seen people make it thin like a soup, to thick almost to the consistency of dasheen bush bhaji. Of course there are the various meats to go along with it also for example crab, smoked bone, or pig tail which gives the callaloo the inherent taste of the particular meat used.
Callaloo, More Like a Soup
Everyone just love this soup in the Caribbean, and I am not exaggerating. It is really so. Of course there will be slight variation in this Caribbean favourite recipe, but what can I say. Personally, I find that the smoked bone really hits the spot, but then pig tail hits another spot and crab hits another (it seems that I have a few spots). Smoked bone are bony parts from the pig, like the backbone etc., that has a little meat on it that's smoked to give it a flavour similar to ham. Probably, they use the same hickory smoke for both.
A point to note though is that we don't really eat callaloo like a soup, as I've experienced in St Vincent, but more like a sauce to pour over rice or just place at the side like in the picture below. I really like callaloo over a nice piece of coo coo not, too hot but just the right temperature. Another thing I've noticed in cooking this dish is that it was usually made on a Sunday; in time for a large Sunday lunch, together with red beans, stewed chicken, macaroni pie (with extra cheese), some potato salad and rice topped off with a nice glass of mauby.... You know I'm actually feeling hungry writing this!...Anyhow here's callaloo.
12 dasheen bush, preferably the young curled leaves, chopped and washed (Please remember to cut out and throw the tips of the dasheen leaves)
¼ cup pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1 hot pepper (optional)
2 cups coconut milk
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 sprig chive, finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
1 pimento, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Pour all the ingredients into a deep pot...Pour the milk over it.
Place over a low fire and leave to cook. When the ingredients have softened, mix and ensure there is enough liquid in the pot. Season with salt and bouillon if desired. (You may add hot pepper now). You may add more water if the liquid is drying up. Also, if you like it more like soup add more water.
When all the ingredients, especially the dasheen bush, are cooked and soft, remove from heat. Allow it to cool before blending. Blend the ingredients in a processor or blender. It blends easier if the callaloo is loose, but if you like it thick, blend a little at time.
If you don't want to blend it you could always use a dhal gutney or a swizzle stick ! Above: Callaloo served with green rice and fish
That's all there is to making delicious callaloo Trini-style. Bye!
- 12 dasheen bush preferably the young curled leaves, chopped and washed
- ¼ cup pumpkin peeled and chopped
- 1 hot pepper optional
- 8 ochroes
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 small onion peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig chive finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery finely chopped
- 1 pimento finely chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Salt to taste
- (Please remember to cut and throw the tips of the dasheen leaves)
- Pour all the ingredients into a deep pot. Pour the milk over it. Place over a low fire and leave to cook. When the ingredients have softened,mix and ensure there is enough liquid in the pot.
- Season with salt and bouillon cube if desired. (You may add hot pepper now). You may add more water if the liquid is drying up.
- When all the ingredients, especially the dasheen bush, are cooked and soft, remove from heat. Allow to cool. Blend the ingredients in a processor or blender or use a dhal gutney or a swizzle stick.
- Serve as a side.
Don't forget tot leave your comment about callaloo in the comment box below.
I often make callaloo and have it not only on Sunday but anytime i feel for some.
I make a huge batch and freeze in individual portions so anytime i feel for some its ready to go ,just defrost and warm.
My hubby's family is from St Vincent and until i met him i never had callaloo soup.
I can make it now and its really good!!
I also want to add that i make it with the spinach since i can't get dasheen bush here,and its very tasty ,but not the same : (
I heard that my aunt in long island does the same because she can't get dasheen bush as well.
You can get fresh dasheen bush at Ace West Indian store on liberty Abe in Richmond hill. I clear them fro TT 2 x per week together w breadfruit eggplant and other items
Oh gosh your plate of food looks tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed the callaloo I made and thanks for answering my questions.
My callaloo column is going to be published next weekend.
By the way, I will refer persons to visit your column for the recipe.
Thank you very much Cynthia. Always glad to help. :^)
Okay...so I made this for hubby last sunday and it was great. You would have thought I was born trini. I also made the mac pie and stew chicken as well and we had a nice "Sunday lunch". the only change is that I added some garlic...it was nice.
OK just an update to those of you who love callaloo like me. I did another variation for your viewing pleasure
As you can see I really love callaloo! 🙂
Just made it with spinach - it is divine!!! Almost like in Trini...
I love your site especially the step by step pictures, keep up the good work.
You're welcome Marcia 🙂
By accident I used Coconut Cream instead of Milk and my callaloo had a sweet aftertaste... also I lost the pepper..anyway how do I combat the sweetness if by chance it happens again to me or even a reader?
Making accidents in cooking should be welcomed. It makes you think on your feet and it makes you a better cook in the end.
I believe as soon as you make a mistake you should remove the pot from the fire to prevent further cooking. Then you solve the problem.
Seeing that the coconut milk is added early in the process I would dilute the cream with water then strain it. When you have come to an acceptable taste then add your coconut milk and continue cooking your callaloo.
Hope this helps and next time mind your business 🙂
Live in Trinidad and I really enjoy your website, for the comment is see, I am guessing you guys are abroad and missing the food here, really like this site an it is a really nice help for me as well, I am currently opening up a take away restaurant and your site is really giving me some great ideas, Keep up the good work
how much people does this particular recipe serve?
It serves 6 based on serving size.
Sometimes my Callaloo taste bushy. Any idea why?? I'm not even abroad so dont know why it happens sometimes.
Perhaps it's the leaves. Use younger leaves (Roll bush) and tell me what you think.
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