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Shemeika’s Jamaican callaloo and hard food

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  • Chef: Shemeika
  • Type: Jamaica
  • Serves: 2
  • Cost: £2 per person

We had a lot of fun recently with a live cookalong on YouTube with Healthy Living Platform member Shemeika.


Shemeika showed us how to make a classic Jamaican recipe – callaloo with hard food. It was delicious.


Watch the video now.


TIPS: If you don’t have callaloo you can also make this recipe with spinach, kale or other greens. You could also serve callaloo with rice or other grains.

Shemeika cooking jamaican callaloo and hard food for healthy living platform



For the hard food


2 cups of plain flour

1 cup boiled water, cooled to room temperature

1 ripe plantain, sliced with the skin on

1 green (unripe) banana, sliced with the skin on

1 small yam, peeled and chopped into chunks

1 potato, peeled and chopped into chunks

1/2 lemon, juiced


For the callaloo


1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil such as sunflower, vegetable or olive)

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 scotch bonnet pepper

Half a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 large tin of callaloo (or use spinach, kale or other greens)

Roughly 1 handful of tomatoes (preferably fresh but use canned if necessary), chopped




To make the hard food


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  2. Place 2 cups of plain flour into a mixing bowl. Add the warm water a spoonful at a time, mixing it into the flour with your fingers until you have a smooth dough. You might not need all the water so just add a little at a time.
  3. Divide your dough into 8-10 pieces. Roll into balls then flatten out into dumplings with your fingers.
  4. Place into the pan of boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Now prepare your yam. Cut off the ends and the skin. Give it a good rinse and then cut into bite-sized chunks and add to the pot with the dumplings.
  6. Next wash plantain and green banana. Cut both ends off and then cut into chunks with the skin on. Add to the pan with the yam and dumplings.
  7. Peel and chop your potato and add this to the pan too.
  8. Finally add a squeeze of lemon juice – this will stop the banana turning everything black.
  9. Leave the pot to cook while you prepare the callaloo – you might need to stir it and skim the froth off of the pan occasionally.


To make the callaloo


  1. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in another pan
  2. Add your chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic. Fry until soft.
  3. Chop off a little bit of scotch bonnet. Start with a small piece if you’re not used to it! Add it to the pan and then wash your hands.
  4. Pour your callaloo into a bowl and then spoon it out into the pan leaving the liquid behind.
  5. Add salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and a little cumin to the callaloo.
  6. Turn up to a high heat and mix well
  7. Add chopped tomatoes (fresh better) and cook for 5-10 minutes.


To serve

  1. Check your hard food. If it’s done drain the contents and remove the plantain and green banana. Carefully remove the skins. Serve with the callaloo.