Callaloo (Amaranthus viridis) is a green, leafy vegetable that is grown and eaten in Jamaica. It is also known as greens, cheng-kruk (NorthEast India), and chorai bhaji (Trinadad). It is not spinach.
Jamaican callaloo is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals; it is mostly eaten in pepper pot soups, steamed with or without cod fish, and as callaloo patty/callaloo loaf. The raw callaloo stems can be juiced and used during juice fasts, and the leaves can be eaten raw.
I read that the Callaloo is also a medicinal plant; it is good for the eye sight and the juice from its leaves and stems makes a good paste to protect against snake and scorpion bites.
There are many ways of preparing steamed Jamaica Callaloo and this is how I cook mine.
Step #1: Clean and wash the callalooStep #2: Strip the callaloo of the outer layer (epidermis). I like to cut my callaloo into two parts – the stem and the top leafy parts. Step #3: Cut up or shred the callaloo. Remember to cut the stem very thinly for easy cooking. Step #4: Prepare the ingredients for steaming the callaloo. For two cups of shredded callaloo you will need:
1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped onions
1tablespoon chopped sweet pepper
2½ tablespoons chopped escellion
½ teaspoon chopped chili pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 tablespoons water
A dash of salt
Step #5 Place the shredded callaloo inside a saucepan (I like to put the shredded callaloo stems at the bottom and have the shredded leaves on top of them), add the water and stir in the salt. Cook over low flame for approx. 10 minutes or until shredded stems are almost tender.
While the callaloo is being steamed, pour the cooking oil over the remainder of the ingredients.
Step #6 Add the oil-infused ingredients to the callaloo Step #7: Gently combine the ingredients with the callaloo Step #8: Cover the pan and cook for two more minutes, then serve. Bon appétit – eat and enjoy.