Trinidadian Callaloo Recipe

Shivonne Du Barry/Flickr
  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 5 Bowls (4 to 5 Servings)
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Callaloo is a type of soup made in Trinidad and Tobago, although many Trinidadians consider it a side dish. It's a must-have on the table for the traditional Sunday meal. Each country in the region has its own version of callaloo. Trini Callaloo is a concoction of dasheen—eddo and taro leaves—okra, crab, salt meat, onions, pimento peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, green onions and thyme, all cooked in fresh coconut milk.

What You'll Need

  • 12 dasheen (eddo/taro) leaves, chopped
  • 7 stalks okra, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 4 pimentos chopped
  • 2 large crabs cut into quarters
  • 1 3-inch piece of salt meat, beef or pork, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 stalks green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Add all the ingredients except the scotch bonnet pepper and the salt to a large pot. Stir to mix.

  2. Cover the pot and place it over medium-high heat. Bring the callaloo to a boil.

  3. Let the callaloo cook for 15 minutes, then add the whole scotch bonnet pepper. Cover the pot again and let the soup cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the ingredients are cooked through and the vegetables are very soft.

  1. Remove the hot pepper, the crab and the salt meat from the pot. Use a swizzle stick or an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Taste and adjust by adding salt if necessary.

  2. Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the hot pepper and crab.

Tips and Variations 

  • Pimento peppers are mild hot peppers. They look a bit like sweet red peppers, but they're smaller. They're among the least hot and spicy peppers you'll find. Buy them canned or fresh when they're harvested in late summer and early fall. 
  • The scotch bonnet pepper is on the opposite end of the scale from the pimento. It's one of the hottest peppers available. If you're not a fan of eye-popping heat in your dishes, you can substitute a jalapeno. Yellow ones are the mildest jalapenos, but they're still on the hot side. You can also remove the membrane and seeds from any pepper to tone it down. These are the spiciest parts.  
  • It's OK to add a little water if too much evaporates during cooking. 
  • You can puree the soup in a food processor if you don't have an immersion blender or swizzle stick. 
  • Serve the soup by itself or pair the Callaloo with rice or dumplings.
  • Leftovers—if you have any—can be safely refrigerated for up to two days. 
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
647 Calories
32g Fat
59g Carbs
47g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)