Trinidadian Callaloo (With Variations)

Callaloo

Shivonne Du Barry / Flickr / CC 2.0 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
270 Calories
22g Fat
17g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 576mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 78mg 391%
Calcium 244mg 19%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 735mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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. Trinidad 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.

You can eat callaloo soup by itself or serve it with rice, chicken, and pigeon peas.

Ingredients

  • 12 dasheen, eddo, or taro leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 7 large okra, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 teaspoons salted butter

  • 1/4 cup diced onions

  • 4 pimentos, coarsely chopped

  • 2 large crabs, quartered

  • 1 (3-inch) piece salt pork or beef, cut into 3 pieces

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 medium green onions, coarsely chopped

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 small scotch bonnet pepper

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add all ingredients—dasheen, okra, butter, onions, pimentos, crabs, salt pork, thyme, green onions, bouillon cube, and coconut milk—except the scotch bonnet pepper and the salt to a large pot. Stir to mix.

  3. Cover and bring to a light boil over medium heat, allowing the callaloo cook for 15 minutes.

  4. Add the whole scotch bonnet pepper.

  5. Cover the pot again and allow to cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the ingredients are cooked through and vegetables are very soft.

  6. Remove the hot pepper, crab, and salt meat from the pot.

  7. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Add salt to taste, if necessary.

  8. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl and garnish with the hot pepper and crab.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Tips

  • 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 can be safely refrigerated for up to two days. 

Recipe Variations

  • Make the dish milder by decreasing the amount of scotch bonnet, one of the hottest peppers available. If you're not a fan of eye-popping heat in your dishes at all, substitute a jalapeno. Yellow ones are the mildest jalapenos, but they're still on the hot side. 
  • For a Jamaican variation, season the callaloo with tomatoes, onion, scallions, and margarine. Serve it with saltfish, roasted breadfruit, boiled green bananas, and dumplings.