A Trinidadian dish with a Canadian twist, kale callalloo is my most favourite meal. And given that kale ranks as the “superest” of super food, I am doubly excited to share it with you. And this has been responsible for my hair filling in the bare spot and the reversal of greying roots back to black.
The creamy deliciousness of green leaves (be they dasheen bush, spinach, kale or other) is only topped by its convenience of cooking in one pot. It’s that simple – all you do is layer the ingredients and take pictures as the conversion occurs through heat.
This dish is a vegetarian one (without the crab) and is as healthy as ___________ (fill in the blank). I use ingredients I get in my area but the beauty of this dish is that it is versatile and you can add or omit ingredients and still end up with a tasty blend that is filling and yummy.
2 bunches kale (You can substitute spinach, dasheen bush, etc)
2 small carrots (you can use pumpkin or squash)
½ bell pepper (called sweet pepper to Trinidadians to distinguish from hot pepper)
½ onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 sprig green onion
½ teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste, black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter (I use salted)
1 packet coconut milk powder to be mixed to 2.5 cups hot water, or 1 can coconut milk
1 small tin crab meat (omit if vegetarian)
6 ochroes – (I don’t get ochroes where I live so I leave them out.)
In a medium sized pot (about 6 quarts), layer the onion, garlic, thyme, green onion, carrots, bell pepper and crab meat. Pour coconut milk over the ingredients. Add 2.5 cups water to powder coconut milk and add to pot. (If using a can of coconut milk, add milk then fill the can with hot water and add to pot.) Then place the kale (last).
Place lid on pot and let simmer on low to medium heat.
The kale will boil down quickly and the milk will bubble up. Stir the kale mixture every 15 minutes. After about 40 minutes, turn off the heat and blend with an immersion (hand) blender. Turn the heat on again and add butter. Stir. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed.
Cautionary Tip: You can add a hot pepper to the simmering pot but REMOVE HOT PEPPER BEFORE BLENDING. I don’t have hot peppers so I simply add hot sauce to my serving.
Serve as a soup, or over rice, or with roti.
And watch that hair regrow and the grey go!
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