How To Make Callaloo With Crab Trinidad Style

Trinidad callaloo with crab
As a Trinidadian, living in the British Virgin Islands does not allow me the luxury of making my favorite dish – Callaloo on a regular basis.  It is not a normal thing to see a bunch of dasheen bush at the farmers market.  
dasheen bush/leaves aka taro leaves

Recently I found a grocery store that sells the dasheen bush already cut up and sold in a bag.  The thing about that is you are not allowed the opportunity to choose the leaves that you want – but I am just grateful to get the bush period!!

Trinidad callaloo packs

In Trinidad and Tobago, you can find Callaloo packs in the grocery stores.  These packs contain all the basic ingredients required to prepare Callaloo Trinidad style.  Ingredients such dasheen leaves (already cut up into small pieces), pumpkin, ochro, hot pepper, pimentos.

3-4 crabs
5-6 dasheen leaves aka taro leaves with stem
basil leaves 
7-9 ochro/okra sliced
small leaves thyme
1 cup pumpkin
1 tablespoons green seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper sauce or one hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups coconut milk
1 Maggie cube
Crab preparation:  Most times we get fresh crabs from the farmers market.  

fresh blue crabs

To clean them, remove the head, scrape off the hairs from the crabs legs with a knife and cut off the ends of the legs (pointy tips) and wash thoroughly.  Place into a bowl with water and add some lime juice.  Allow the crabs to soak in the lime water for a few minutes.

You can also purchase the crabs already cleaned at the grocery store.  Just remove them from the packet, place them into a bowl with lime juice and allow them to soak for a few minutes.

Wash the dasheen leaves thoroughly, cut the leaves from the stem and cut up into small pieces.  Cut up the stem into small pieces. Place all these cut up pieces into a pot.
Wash out the crabs and add to pot with the other ingredients.
You can go ahead and add the other dry ingredients to the pot, it is not necessary to cut them into smaller pieces because when they are cooked they will be blended with the use of a swizzle stick.
Pour the coconut milk into the pot and put the pot on the stove.  Allow the ingredients to cook for about 20-25 minutes.  After this time has passed the ochro/okra seeds should look pink.  I normally use this as a gauge to know when it is time to turn off the stove.
swizzle sticks

Taste and add salt if necessary.  Remove the hot pepper and with a swizzle stick, mash up the ingredients into smaller pieces to achieve a semi smooth consistency.  If you end results is a bit chunky (slightly) it is okay. Put the hot pepper back into the pot.  I like to put my callaloo into the blender (for a second) at this point to get a semi smooth consistency.  Transfer to a serving dish until ready to be served.

6 thoughts on “How To Make Callaloo With Crab Trinidad Style

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