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Authentic Caribbean Recipes & Cookbooks

Updated on August 16, 2013

Learn How to Cook Delicious Caribbean Food

The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures and the various dishes from the region are simply bursting with flavor. Check out some of my favorite dishes from around the Caribbean and learn how to prepare them and many more Caribbean Recipes from scratch including this delicious Papaya (or pawpaw) Salad - you'll find the recipe here

But this lens was actually inspired by my desire to share a nice selection of dishes that will help you prepare your very own Caribbean Feast - all of the images link to recipes, but I've also given a few basic recipes for making my favorite dishes - I am not a professional cook but the ones I've shared are easy enough recipes, feel free to follow the links and watch the videos to see how the pros, like Trinidadian, Chris De La Rosa from Caribbean Pot, do it - Enjoy!

What is a real Caribbean Feast made of?

Any time these delicious items are on the menu - I'm hungry!

Callaloo Soup is one of the most nutritious and tasty dishes you can get in the Caribbean - while it can be prepared as a vegan dish, the traditional versions incorporate crab or salted meat for additional flavor. Callaloo leaves are also nice steamed and served as a side dish with stews or curries. There are a feww different types of leaves used for callaloo but the dasheen leaf is most widely used in St Vincent (where my parents are from) however, baby spinach leaves and a variety of other plants can be used to make this dish.

Fish Cakes and Beef Patties are two of my favorite appetizers. Buljol served with Roast Breadfruit or Fried Bakes, Fried Ripe Plantain with Jerk Pork or Chicken, Grilled Fish & Stewed Pigeon Peas. With vegan or "ital" dishes and a nice range of caribbean condiments and some basic, rice and potatoes and other ground provisions as your side dishes you're all set to enjoy a traditional Caribbean Feast!

And all you need to wash it down is a cool glass of Coconut Water. Here's an interesting read about the benefits of coconut water.

Aaaaaaah - Refreshing Coconut Water

Aaaaaaah - Refreshing Coconut Water
Aaaaaaah - Refreshing Coconut Water

Coconut Water Anyone?

Vita Coco Coconut Water, Pure, 11.1 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Vita Coco Coconut Water, Pure, 11.1 Ounce (Pack of 12)

This coconut water is delicious, healthy and a great mixer!

 

Here's the starter:

Callaloo soup is incredibly delicious and satisfying - I've even served it at my kids' birthday parties on the beach and taken an empty pot home every time!

How to Make Delicious Callaloo Soup

  • Prep time: 25 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: 6-8

Ingredients

  • Salted cod fish (1 lb)
  • Large onion (finely chopped)
  • Chives (3 tbsp finely chopped)
  • Chopped parsley
  • thyme & marjoram (1 tsp each)
  • All purpose flour (2 cups )
  • baking powder (2 tbsp)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • blk pepper (1/2 tsp)

Instructions

  1. Rinse excess salt from fish, place it in a saucepan and add 3 cups of water, boil for 10 minutes, drain add another 2 cups of water - bring to a boil then drain again. Rinse with cool water and place the fish in a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to flake the fish in to small pieces. Add all of the other ingredients and stir gently with a whisk until well blended.
  2. Use a deep fryer (for best results) - add vegetable oil and bring to a high heat - drop spoonfuls of the batter they should immediately "swell" into balls - fry til they're golden brown -remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  3. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!
Cast your vote for Fish Cakes
  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 6-8

Stewed Pigeon Peas

  • Pigeon Peas (2 1/2 cups)
  • Large Tomato (Diced)
  • Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • Garlic (2 cloves finely chopped)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Soy Sauce ( 1 tbsp)
  • Ketchup (1 tbsp)
  • Mustard (1 tsp)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Cocunut Milk (1/2 cup)
  • Butter/margarine (1 tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add onions and garlic and stir for 2 mins (onions should be translucent. Add remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk. Cover and let simmer stirring every 10 minutes for about half an hour. Add coconut milk, cover and reduce heat - continue to stir occasionally for another 20 mins.

Fried Bakes:

A simple & satisfying staple

Bakes

I don't like my bakes very sweet, however, some people prefer more sugar in theirs so you can add 1 to 2 tbsp of sugar if you have more of a sweet tooth.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • Yields: 4-6

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour (3 cups)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Sugar (1 tsp)
  • Butter/margarine (2 tbsp)
  • Velvo kris or crisco (1 tbsp)
  • Baking powder (1tbsp)
  • Water (1 cup)

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Rub in shortening and add water gradually while kneading to form a ball of dough. Divide dough in 4 and separate each quarter into 2 or 3 pieces (depending on how big you want the bakes to be / how many people you are serving). Form the pieces into balls, lightly dust with flour and set aside for 10 mins.
  2. Place frying pan with 1/2 inch oil on medium-high heat. Flatten each bake with rolling pin (or with your hands) to about 1/4 inch think and place in pan - use a slotted spoon to toss oil over the top of the bake to ensure quick frying. Turn the bake and fry on the other side - when they're golden brown remove from heat and set aside on paper towels to cool and drain excess oil.

Salt Fish Buljol

This recipe can be served any time of day. If you've never had it - you simply don't know what you're missing, especially since it really is one of the easiest dishes to prepare.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 25 min
  • Yields: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Salted Cod Fish (1 lb)
  • Scotch Bonnet (Hot) Pepper (1/2 tsp finely chopped)
  • Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • Large Cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • Tomatoes (2 thinly sliced)
  • Sweet Pepper (1 thinly sliced - optional)
  • Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. Wash excess salt from the fish and place in a pot of boiling water. After 10 mins, drain and fill the pot with enough water to cover the fish and then replace it on the fire. Once it starts to boil remove from heat, drain and flake the fish into fine bits.
  2. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil and add the onions and hot and sweet peppers, stir for one minute - add the salt fish and continue to stir for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Finally, add the cucumbers and tomatoes and remove from heat entirely.

Caribbean cooking is an exciting way to tempt your taste buds!

Tastes Like Home Caribbean Cookbook!

Tastes Like Home: My Caribbean Cookbook
Tastes Like Home: My Caribbean Cookbook

In Tastes Like Home, Guyanese blogger Cynthia Nelson, who lives in Barbados, brings readers over 100 recipes from all over the Caribbean; all of which she has tried and tested herself and served to family and friends. But more than just recipes, Tastes Like Home is a conversation about food and how it connects and forms part of Caribbean identity. The book is divided into two sections, a memoir section and a recipe section.

In the memoir section Cynthia shares personal memories which define Caribbean food and lifestyles. In the recipe section readers are treated to step by step guides on how to make roti, the perfect baked ham, Caribbean Christmas Cake and Coconut drops - to name a few. Whether you are at home or abroad, near or far, Tastes Like Home is your invitation to revel in the tastes of the Caribbean.

 

How To Make Buss Up Shut Roti - Which is outstanding with Curries!

Ground Provisions

Yam, sweet potato, dasheen, eddo and tania are all what we call ground provisions in the Caribbean. They're general steamed/boiled, with a bit of salt and are generally used in soups and served or served as side dishes. They're filling and generally considered healthier than pasta and white rice when prepared in traditional methods.

What are ground provisions?

Caribbean Vegan Cookbook - : A Caribbean Cookbook is Essential

Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion
Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion

Even if you're not vegan it's always great to be able to provide vegan dishes when you're having any sort of gathering!

Caribbean Vegan will spice up your vegan diet like no other cookbook. Popular blogger Taymer Mason provides 125 completely vegan recipes for delicious breakfast dishes, appetizers, entrees, sides, soups, desserts, and drinks.

 

Looking For Caribbean Cookbooks?

Our National Dishes

You'll find all of the Caribbean's National Dishes are interesting and flavorful - let me know which one you're going to try!

Cou-cou and Flying Fish

Cou-cou and Flying Fish
Cou-cou and Flying Fish

Let me know if you've seen anything you like

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    • SamiPearl profile image

      SamiPearl 4 years ago

      Definitely going to try those bakes!

    • SamiPearl profile image

      SamiPearl 4 years ago

      Definitely going to try those bakes!

    • Aquamarine18 profile image

      Aquamarine18 4 years ago

      Great recipes! Thanks!

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      These recipes look really good!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      That sugary bread looks amazing!!! Blessed!

    • KandH profile image
      Author

      KandH 4 years ago

      @nifwlseirff: Thanks, I'm so glad you like them!

    • profile image

      nifwlseirff 4 years ago

      I haven't had anything like these recipes before! I wonder if I can find pigeon peas locally - that recipe looks scrumptious (as do all the others!)

    • KandH profile image
      Author

      KandH 4 years ago

      @victoriahaneveer: I'm so glad I could inspire you :)

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      These look really tempting. My only experience with West Indian recipes is the jerk chicken I used to buy at the Notting Hill Carnival in London. I am a really foodie and love exploring new cuisines. I'm surprised I haven't experimented more with Caribbean food to be honest. You know what, I'm going to make one of these recipes this week for sure. The food looks so good!

    • KandH profile image
      Author

      KandH 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      love all your recipes, but fish cake is something special. a tasty lens.

    • KandH profile image
      Author

      KandH 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I know right :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • KandH profile image
      Author

      KandH 4 years ago

      @Jo-Jackson: Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Lovely lens. I feel hungry now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow.