I’ve talked about it before! In the Caribbean we do #vegan naturally and what I mean by that is.. we don’t take 15 grains and try to make a burger. We would take those 15 grains (for example) and make several dishes out of them. This Chataigne (aka breadnut) is a delicious example of how we do vegetarian dishes naturally – just part of the commonplace culinary landscape. And to be honest, until the recent Vegan/Vegetarian movement, we didn’t even notice how many of our everyday dishes fall into the “category”.
3 medium Chatagine (breadnut)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion (sliced)
3 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 cup water to cook the curry
1 scotch bonnet (sliced)
5-8 cloves of garlic (divided)
1 tablespoon anchar masalla
1 1/2 tablespoon roasted geera / divided (cumin)
1 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3/4 tablespoon salt (adjust)
3 cups coconut milk
3 pimento peppers (diced fine)
Important! If doing this recipe #glutenfree please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the curry powder as some may contain flour.
I’d recommend that you watch the video below featuring my mom and dad along with following with this recipe. As some elements may be better described there.
Rub your hands with coconut or vegetable oil (not mentioned in the ingredients list above). This will form a protective barrier so the natural sap off the Chatainge will not stain and discolor your hands. Using a sharp knife, peel the Chataigne, then cut into segments. Remove the core and discard. Then peel or shred off layers of the inside (very cabbage-like at this point). There will be seeds that you can include in the dish. If you choose to use the seeds (we used about 30%) you will need to remove the tough outer skin (discard) and slice the seeds in half.
Give everything a good wash in cool water and drain. Then heat the oil in a large heavy pot on a medium flame. It’s now time to add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the curry powder cook 2 minutes to cook off any rawness (you’ll get this rawness at the end if you don’t cook it off now). Add 3/4 cup water, stir well. Go in with the scotch bonnet pepper and 3 cloves garlic grated… followed by 1/2 of the Geera and Anchar Masalla. Stir well, then add the Caribbean Green Seasoning and cook for 2-3 minutes. You will have a lovely thick slurry with a captivating aroma.
It’s now time to start adding the cleaned and prepared Chataigne along with any seeds you decide on using to the pot. As you do, please try to stir. It will seem like a lot at the start but it will wilt down. Do remember to add the salt at this point as well.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk. My dad grated a couple dried coconuts from which my mom made freshly squeezed coconut milk (watch the video).
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook gently with the lid on. 1/2 hr later, we topped it with the remaining garlic (whole cloves) and continued on that gentle simmer (lid on).
Be sure to stir the pot every 15 minutes or so. After 2 hours, add the minced Pimento peppers, mix in well and continue cooking. Yes it does take a while to cook until it’s tender and bursting with flavors. You’ll appreciate the time it takes to cook once you taste this Curry Chataigne.
Bearing in mind that it took 3 hours on that gentle simmer to cook, the last 10 minutes is when you’ll add the last of the roast Geera (ground cumin) and mix in well.
At the 3 hour mark you will have burned off all the liquid and the Chataigne will be tender and ready to enjoy with Sada or Buss-Up-Shut Roti. A CLASSIC Caribbean vegetable curry courtesy of my mom and dad. Much luv and thanks to them for sharing such a traditional recipe with us.