Another cornmeal recipe we make here in Trinidad and Tobago is "Paime" (pronounced pay-me), a sweet, wholesome and simple recipe, most popular during the Christmas season. The process of making a Trinidad paime is similar to pastelle; you just don't add any filling since the dough has coconut, raisins and pumpkin making it rich in fibre. It a thus heavier than pastelle.
Paime is one of my favourite treats during Christmas time. If you are trying to avoid eating the commercial sweets that are in abundance during the season, you will find paime a welcome treat to enjoy. In any case, I encourage you to indulge more during this season in treats that are less sugary and more nutritious.
Trinidad Paime: A Rich Treat
After a bit of research, I believe that this dish may be of an Amerindian origin. And seeing that we have a Carib community still striving well on the island, there could be some truth to this. Maybe someone can confirm it for me. The other bit of information I gleaned from the internet is that this paime recipe is very similar to conkies which is made in Barbados and other Caribbean islands. The recipe ingredients are the same although some recipes add sweet potato. Adding the sweet potato is definitely worth a try next time we make paime at home.
Trinidad Paime Recipe
So whatever it is called, this Paime/ Conkie recipe is a sure favourite at any table. I hope you enjoy this one also. Here's Trinidad paime.
2 cups cornmeal
½ cup flour (you can substitute the flour for any of your favourite gluten free flour, such as cassava flour, etc.)
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup shortening or butter
2 cups grated coconut, hand grated
1 cup grated pumpkin
¼ cup raisins
1 cup water
Cotton strings to tie
Yield: approximately 24 paimes
Note: Make sure you prepare the banana leaves first. Remove the spines from the banana leaves. Carefully place the leaf over a low fire on the stove. As you notice the colour of the leaf change move the leaf along the fire. Be careful not to burn. The leaves will become pliable. Then wipe the leaves clean. Cut the leaves into smaller squares, cut to the preferred size you want each paime to be. Set aside.
Then add the grated coconut and pumpkin.
Add the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly mix.
Mix until moist enough to form a ball.
Roll in small or medium-sized balls, and place on a piece of prepared leaf and....
Flatten a bit.
Fold over leaves and tie securely. Boil in hot water for about ½ an hour.
Cool, remove from wrapping, and serve.
More recipes to come. Ah gone!
- 2 cups cornmeal
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter or shortening
- 2 cups grated coconut
- 1 cup grated pumpkin
- ¼ cup seedless raisins
- 1 cup water
- Banana leaves
- Cotton strings to tie
- Mix together all the ingredients and blend well.
- To prepare banana leaves: Wipe leaves with a clean cloth dipped in a weak solution of bleach and water.
- Quickly pass the leaves over a medium to low flame. Allow the leaf to get slightly dark, not to burn. Cut the leaves into squares (about 15-20 cm) and set aside.
- Grease a square leaf and place 2 tablespoon of the mixture in the center. Flatten a bit. Fold over leaves and tie securely. Boil in hot water for about ½ an hour.
- Cool, remove from wrapping and serve.