Callaloo is one of the traditional dishes in Trinidad and Tobago. We traditionally use the Dasheen Bush to prepare this dish. But here in the BVI it is very difficult to obtain. Its only when my husband’s family is traveling to the BVI to visit us, we would ask them to bring some of this bush for us. Today I learned that another greens can be used and it traditionally used by the Jamaicans. It is Spinach. So I bought some and decided to put this greens to the test.
1 bundle of Spinach or dasheen bush
1 sliced onion
1 piece of pumpkin
1 cup of coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon of pepper sauce or one red pepper salt
3 garlic cloves
Cut up the greens and pumpkin into small pieces and put in a deep pot. Add 2 cups of water, coconut milk, onion and all the other ingredients. Don’t forget to also add some blended herbs. Allow all the ingredients to cook well. Tip: you can purchase the fresh ocho or the frozen ones. Be a little cautious with the fresh ocho, don’t buy the one that are hard when you apply a little pressure to them. Buy the young ones. To test, just break of the bottom tip of the young ones and if the tip breaks easily, they these are the ones to buy.
One way of knowing that the vegetables are cooked, I look for the ochro seeds, they separate from the green part of the ochro and turn pink.
Turn off your stove. Now the traditional way is to use a swizzle stick to break up all the ingredients together. What I have been using is my blender. But PLEASE be careful with this. ENSURE that the Callaloo is cool before putting it into the blender. I had an accident once (thank God it was nothing major that I had to be taken to the hospital). Put the Callaloo in the blender and press your blend button for 2 seconds. Don’t allow the Callaloo to mashed up too much. Leave a little pulp from the vegetables.
I had this dish for dinner on 7th July 2009, and served it with some white rice and stewed chicken. This is the kind of food we would traditionally prepare on Sundays, in Trinidad and Tobago. Since my husband does not like stewed chicken or white rice, I prepared a soup with the calloloo by simply adding some dumplings. You can also add any ground provision of your choice. Check out this page for more Callaloo Soup details.
NOTE: This greens passed my test!! Another great traditional dish that is served with Callaloo is Coo Coo and Stewed Fried Fish.
As a young child my mother would cook Callaloo with crab or sometime she would use pig tail or salt beef/meat.