|Dishes||Callaloo & Dumplings, Coconut Rough Cakes (ALL VEGAN)|
|Time||1 hour total|
|Population||71,625 (204th largest)|
|Land mass||750 km2 (174th largest)|
|Language||English (official), Dominican Creole, French|
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Dominica is an island country in the Caribbean in the Less Antilles archipelago. In 5th century, South American settlers populated the island. The island was colonised by the French in the 1700’s, under whose rule the Dominicans suffered. The British gained control over Dominica in the Seven Years’ War (1763) and were similarly brutal. However, the nation gained independence as a republic in 1978. The island is in fact still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as is home to the world second-largest hot-spring!
Dominican culture is a mixture of influences with music and dance being the most important elements. Its cuisine is akin to many of the other Caribbean islands, but has its individual flavour. Saltfish, bakes, cornmeal, plantain and stews are all staple delicious delicacies!
We made the classic Callaloo soup with dumplings, which has been adopted as the national dish of Dominica. It is traditionally made with boiled crab meat but we left this out so the dish would be vegan. It is also traditionally made with taro or tannia leaves, however as we couldn’t get these we used spinach! It was really delicious and flavoursome, and was perfect with freshly baked Dominican-inspired bread!
We also made Dominican coconut cakes which are served on Independence Day. These were easy to make and low sugar, making them a lovely snack and perfect with a cup of tea.
- 2 lbs spinach leaves
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 large onion, chopped roughly
- 3 gloves garlic, chopped finely
- 5 cups of water
- 1 tbsp celery, chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp thyme, fresh if you have it!
- 4 chives, finely chopped
- 1 hot pepper, chopped
- 3 tbsp oil (for frying)
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1½ tbsp turmeric
- Prepare and wash all the veg.
- In a large pan, heat some oil and medium-high. Then add in the onion, celery, chilli, chives, thymes and garlic to sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add in all the water and coconut milk, along with the spinach leaves.
- Use a hand-held blender to blitz the mixture for about one minute. The mixture should be roughly blended into a nice soupy mixture which isn’t overly smooth.
- At this point, add in your dumplings if you’ve made them (recipe below).
- Put the lid on the pan and let it cook on a lower heat for about 30-45 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve with fresh bread!
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup water (enough water to make a good dough)
- 2tsp salt
- Mix all the ingredients together to form a good thick, smooth dough.
- Roll the dough into a nice long sausage shape. Then cut the dough into 1cm thick rounds and flatten them with your palm.
- Add into the callaloo to cook!
Dominican Rough Cakes *vegan
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp grated lime rind
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat the oven at 180 C and grease / line two baking trays.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Then mix in the coconut milk and vanilla essence.
- Using a large tbsp or an ice-cream scoop as your measure and place one big dollop of mixture at evenly spread intervals on the tray (these will spread a little).
- Bake the cakes for 25 – 30 minutes until they have browned nicely on the top.
- ENJOY hot or cold!
Thank you and see you in the Democratic Republic of Congo! M + B x