Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Trini Tuesday-Callaloo

Callaloo is often referred to as the 'National Dish of Trinidad.' It's a creole dish that is a common fixture. It is said to represent Trinidad not only because it's practically a dietary staple but because it's a mixture of such a myriad of ingredients, like the people of the island themselves. Callaloo is also a term used to refer to anything that's a hodgepodge of different parts.

And like meatloaf in the USA, everyone knows how to make it but everyone puts their own unique twist on it. I tasted lots of Callaloo during my time in Trinidad. Some of it I thought was awful, some I thought was really delicious. So if you try it the first time and aren't too keen, keep trying. Some callaloo is a thick as creamed spinach, some comes out more soupy. Sunday dinner, which is a required ritual in Trinidad, will always have callaloo.

I never developed my own spin on callaloo so I will present the recipe from the Naparima Girls' High School Diamond Jubilee Recipe Book. My dear friend, Petal, gave it to me early in my stay in Trinidad. She is a wonderful cook and as far as I am concerned, makes the best callaloo.

about 12 dasheen leaves (spinach is an acceptible alternative)
1/4 lb salt beef or ham bone
1/4 lb salt pork
2 Cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp butter
1 green pepper
2 crabs
8 okras
2 sprigs of thyme
1 onion
4 chives
1 Cup boiling water

-Strip the stalks and midrib from leaves and wash well.
-Wash and cut up the okras and seasonings.
-Soak and cut up the meat.
-Scald and clean the crabs.
-Put all the ingredients except the butter, into a pot with the boiling water and simmer until soft.
-Swizzle and add the butter.
-Serves with rice.

Happy Trini Tuesday!


lecram sinun said...

Mmmm sounds tasty!

steve said...

Dang it now I am hungry!

shutterbugger said...

mmmmm, I cant wait to try it out!

I am starving now.

Laurie said...

Oh God, you just made me soooo hungry! LOL

I had that in Jamaica and LOVED it! Thanks for the recipie :-)

barefoot_mistress said...

I'll bet we could do an entire study on what different cultures call their leftover dish: meatloaf surprise, mystery meat casserole, etc!

But now I just feel like yelling,


Fred said...

Can you send me some?

Solitaire said...

Wow... that's an amazing dish...

I love Tuesdays in blog world! So many cool things about the specifics our what makes us, us...

Happy Tuesday!

MyUtopia said...

Except for the pork, it sounds interesting : )

Cootera said...

**grumble, rumble**

Yep, that's my tummy.

60 and counting said...

Looks like I will have to go out and shoot me some crabs and try that.


Moosekahl said...

Oh...I LOVE okra. I might have to give this one a try. Happy Trini-Tuesday :)

Logophile said...

Man, that sounds like soooooooo much work!
Will you make me some?

ttfootball said...

Lime by now i woulda tink yuh could make a serious callaloo...tsk tsk. Now u make me think of being home...my granny in NY makes a mean callaloo with frozen spinach. I'll have my own food post coming soon, i just got back from Europe.....

M said...


Ari said...

Sounds lovely. And callaloo is just a good word to know. :)

snavy said...

Sounds wonderful!!!