Breakfast was usually a grab and go routine for me as a young fella on the islands during the week, as I went to school in the city and it meant leaving our sleepy village very early in the morning. I had to take a 2nd taxi (shared) when I got into San Fernando (2nd largest city in Trinidad) to make it in time for the first bell. So weekends was when mom would go all out with whatever we wanted for breakfast. Now this sort of breakfast was never included as I only developed a liking for many of the ingredients you’ll see me use, during my travels across the Caribbean as an adult. However the dish itself represents the sort of satisfying breakfast you’d find across the West Indies, especially on the weekends.
4 green cooking bananas (cooked)
1-2 cups prepared salted fish (Cod)
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup diced bell pepper
4 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 large shallot (or 2 cloves garlic & 1 small onion)
1 can ackee (drain / rinsed)
2 tablespoon olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 small okra (cut in half – length)
6 cups Jamaican callaloo (trimmed/shredded)
Note: If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Please use the video tutorials above to prepare the necessary ingredients. If using canned ackee as I did, be gentle and rinse with cool water to get rid of the brine it’s packaged in and set aside. On a medium flame, heat the olive oil (or coconut) and add the diced shallot and thyme. Lower the heat to low and let it cook gently for 3 minutes.
With your heat still on low, add the prepared salted cod and the black pepper and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium and add the cut/trimmed ockra and scotch bonnet pepper (remember to use as much as you can handle and don’t use any seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat). Stir well and cook for a couple minutes.
It’s now time to add the prepared Jamaican callaloo (chorai bhaji) and stir well. It will look like it will overflow, but it will shrink (wilt) down as it cooks. Add all the other ingredients, except the cooked green bananas and ackee and mix well.
After 5 Minutes, add the cooked green bananas (cut into 1 inch pieces) and mix well. Then GENTLY fold in the ackee. Please be gentle as it’s very tender and can fall apart very easily. Warm trough and combine the flavors and you’re basically done.
An amazing one pot Caribbean breakfast beast served (enjoyed) hot. Feel free to add other types of ground provisions to the mix (like yams, dasheen, cassava etc) and be sure to have some slices of fried plantains on the side with some coconut bake or johnny cakes.