Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:

    6 to 8

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This thick soup is considered the national dish of Trinidad. It makes use of dasheen/taro leaves, which lend a particular almost tangy flavor. A mixture of fresh spinach and Swiss chard is a good substitute if you cannot get dasheen. Callalloo can be made with or without crabmeat or pork, according to taste.


  • 1 pound dasheen/taro leaves, or ½ pound each spinach and Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 ounces lean salt pork or Canadian bacon, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ pound fresh, canned, or frozen crabmeat
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ pound young okra or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen okra, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste


  1. Place the greens in a soup pot with the chicken stock, onion, garlic, scallions, chives, thyme, and salt pork. Cover and simmer over low heat until the pork is fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove most of the solids from the pot and place them in a food processor or blender. Puree to a rough paste. Return mixture to the pot, mixing well.
  3. Add the crabmeat, coconut milk, and okra, and stir until thoroughly combined. Simmer over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce.