Traditional Trinidadian Callaloo Recipe

Traditional Trinidadian Callaloo Recipe

Get ready to dive into the heart of Trinidad and Tobago’s cuisine with this traditional Callaloo recipe. Callaloo is not just a beloved dish; it’s a cultural staple, often served as a sumptuous side or a main dish. This creamy, spinach-like soup brims with the flavors of dasheen leaves, okra, and coconut milk, simmered to perfection with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices.


  • 10 dasheen leaves, chopped (or substitute with spinach or Swiss chard if unavailable)
  • 12 okras, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or shado beni (culantro), for garnishing


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add vegetable oil and sauté garlic, onion, and scallions until translucent.
  2. Add chopped dasheen leaves (or substitute), okras, and pumpkin to the pot and stir.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and broth, then add the thyme and whole scotch bonnet pepper. Do not burst the pepper unless you desire a spicier dish.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and flavors are well combined.
  5. Remove the thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth or leave as is for a more rustic texture.
  6. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro or shado beni, and serve hot as a side dish or with rice for a hearty meal.

Enjoy the warmth and vibrancy of Trinidadian cuisine right in your own kitchen with this Callaloo recipe. The blend of dasheen leaves and Caribbean spices creates a comfort food experience that’s both exotic and familiar.

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