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.
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.