Vegetables and Pulses

Callaloo à la Ilka  

Stewed Pigeon Peas

Callaloo à la Ilka

Everyone cooks this dish a bit differently to suit their own taste. Traditionally it has whole crabs cooked in it. I usually just cook it without any meat, but you can add crab meat or cook some salted pigtail with it, it's up to you.


1 bundle callaloo bush ( dasheen bush ), or substitute with spinach
10 ochroes ( or substitute with canned ochroes )


3 stalks chive

3 cloves garlic

salt, pepper

chicken bouillon cube

tabasco sauce ( or float a red hot chili pepper on top of callaloo )

Worcestershire sauce

coconut milk



1) Clean callaloo bush ( or spinach). Remove skin from callalloo stalks as well as the ribs from the leaves

2) Clean and cut up ochroes and add to callaloo bush

3) Cut up onion, chive and garlic and add

4) In a large pot melt the butter and add the callaloo mixture

5) Turn leaves until they change colour, now add salt, pepper, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce ( or use hot pepper to float on top of callaloo while it is cooking, making sure it does not burst, or the callaloo will be too hot ) and the crumbled chicken bouillon cube. Stir.

6) Add coconut milk and cook callaloo until the seeds of the ochroes have turned slightly pink

7) Either swivel by hand with a swivel stick, or put in a blender and blend for 3 separate seconds

(You can make this dry and use it as a side dish or add more water and make it into a soup.)

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Stewed Pigeon Peas


1/2 lbs salted pigtail, cut into 1 inch pieces
Fresh or frozen pigeon peas, not canned- 1 lbs or more

Oil- a little

Asmall piece of pumpkin

Black pepper ( salt, if needed)

A little mixed fresh seasonings, such as parsley, celery, sprig of thyme- cut up small-


garlic cloves


Method :

1) Wash and scald salted pigtail- drain off the water to get rid of excess salt

2) In a pressure cooker, put a little oil, add garlic and sauté until golden, but take care not to burn it

3) Add pigeon peas ( if you use frozen peas, just wash them under hot water until defrosted, then immediately put into the pot)

4) Stir-fry peas for a few minutes

5) Add pigtail, pumpkin pieces ( peeled and washed) , seasonings, black pepper, onion and stir through

6) Add boiling water to cover and pressurize until soft ( check after 10 mins)

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copyright © Ilka Hilton Clarke - all rights reserved. -Last updated: December 6, 2015