How to Make Callaloo
Callaloo is a Caribbean dish that is very popular in St.Vincent, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Haiti, and Trinidad & Tobago. The main ingredients are callaloo leaves, or spinach, and okra. It is a soup of sorts, that's best served hot with some meat and white rice. There are many variations on the basic recipe including adding coconut milk, crab, lobster, and a large selection of meats.
1 pound of callaloo leaves - or spinach and Swiss chard
6 cups of reduced sodium chicken stock
1 large chopped onion
½ a pound of salted beef
1 cup of fresh okra
½ a pound of crab meat or shrimp
½ a teaspoon of ground black pepper
6 tablespoons of minced shallots
¼ of a teaspoon of dried basil
Oil to cover the saucepan
Remove the stems of the callaloo leaves, then chop them.If using spinach, wash the leaves thoroughly and chop roughly.
Oil a large saucepan, and then put the callaloo in when the saucepan is on the heat.
Trim off the fat from the beef, and then dice it.
Add the diced beef with the chicken stock, onion, black pepper, shallots, basil, chili pepper, and the crab meat or shrimp.
Cover the saucepan and simmer until the meat is tender.This should take around half an hour.
Add the okra, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the stew from heat, and let it cool for a few minutes.
Purée the stew in a blender or food processor once it has cooled to acquire the right consistency.
Reheat, and adjust seasoning to taste.Serve hot with some rice, meat or vegetables, and enjoy!
- If you want to make a vegetarian variety, or reduce the amount of sodium, omit the beef and chicken stock and replace it with tofu and low salt vegetable stock.
- It isverydifficult to find callaloo nowadays, which may put you off making this dish. Not to worry, as spinach is an excellent substitute.
- Callaloo is usually served as a side dish, alongside plain rice and bread.
- You could skip the blender step and eat the callaloo in its chunky form, as a stew.
- There arehundredsof variations of this dish; some make it green, others make it orange, some add beans, some add coconut milk etc. Don't be afraid to experiment with ingredients.
- Callaloo leaves are called by many names, including: amaranth, bhaji, taro, coco, tannia (yautia), or dasheen (taro) bush
- Traditionally, thyme and garlic were the seasoning used in this dish, so you may want to try adding those into the pot.
- This dish is a bit on the salty side, so make sure you trim as much fat as possible from your beef.
- If you don't like it spicy, remove the chili pepper before you put the soup in the blender, or just don't use it at all.
- The okra will get slimy, but don't worry; its "slime" gives the soup a nice consistency.
- Be sure to clean the callaloo very well before you chop it to ensure that insects are not still in amongst the leaves.
- Make absolutely sure the callaloo is cool before you put it in your blender. If it's hot and you attempt to purée it, you could ruin your blender.
Video: Trinidad's Callaloo
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