Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    1 quart

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Chow-chow was brought to Trinidad by the English who learned how to make it from the Dutch. In sections of the United States, as in Trinidad, “chow” refers to a pickled fruit or vegetable mixture that is very spicy. You can decide which vegetables you’d like to use but this is a fairly standard recipe. Trinidadians eat chow-chow as a snack but I like to use it as a condiment with grilled foods.


  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • ½ cup bite-size cauliflower florets
  • ½ green papaya, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ English cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small green Italian sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup prepared yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers or other hot red chili peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped


  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt, the cauliflower, papaya, carrot, onion, celery, cucumber, and sweet pepper. Blanch for 10 minutes, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a deep saucepan, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, the flour, mustard, sugar, and turmeric. Mix well and then whisk in 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  3. Continue whisking and pour in the vinegar in a steady stream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chili peppers and blanched vegetables. Stir well and remove from heat.
  4. Pour into sterilized mason jars and seal. Serve as a condiment with any grilled food.