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Say Hello to Dasheen(Taro)

October 24, 2010

Guess what I am taking part in Vegan MOFO 2010…YES Lazy Taymer. This means I  will be blogging everyday for the entire month of November about ……VEGAN FOOD.. I am not sure about my theme as yet but I am cooking everyday and eventually something will come up. This year over 300 blogs will be taking part

Click the Logo to see the list of blogs taking part and also to find out more about Vegan Month of Food!

I have so much to share with you in the next couple of weeks leading  up to the Christmas holidays that I had to write a list of my future blog post. I read a lot of blog and magazines which speak about Caribbean food and particularly Caribbean root vegetables. Sometimes the consensus is that the root vegetable in question was too dry and tasteless and it needed sauce or it was something the blogger bought in a can expected the world out of a can. The truth  is  you have to know how to cook  the food.

Dasheen show these folks what you can do

Coconut mashed Dasheen with Creole Sauce, cilantro chutney,Tofish & fluffy plantains panko

Here is Taro Dasheen, he may look rough around the edges but he packs a nutty smooth flavour. He may be white inside but when he gets boiled he goes a gun metal blue. The taste is unique and works well when mashed with coconut milk, a little onion powder and garlic powder. After reading about Dasheen on the “reliable” Wikipedia it did give me some information I did not know before. I did not know it is one of the  oldest cultivated tubers and that it was consumed in Rome. Click here

Before we go on let me tell you a bit about Dasheen. I do not know if it is consumed heavily in Barbados but I know you can find it easily but because my grandmother is from St. Lucia I was raised  with lots of root vegetables. In Barbados we eat the smaller corms called eddoes in soup or pulped and  I love them too. Today, I met the cutest sweetest little girl today when I went to buy it. I wanted to adopt her and call her my own. You see her grandmother was the vendor and her grandmother had to step away so I was selecting the root vegetables myself from the stall and she said  ” That one aint no good” and she fished through the box of Dasheen and picked out the best one for me and when I got home it was very very fresh almost a textbook Dasheen. She knows her stuff. She picked out all the best root vegetables for me for the week. Her grandmother never lets me choose my own produce and is a complete  mess to deal with.Then when I get home the stuff is rotten or heading there on an express train. I will go on Sundays now to have this little girl tell me what is good from what is not  good because even me could not tell the difference from touching the dasheen…I can for sweet potatoes and yam but dasheen is tricky. Dasheens are consumed  on islands that have large agricultural bases and you will find this in St. Lucia and St. Vincent a lot.  Dasheen is considered a blue root vegetable for some as it turns a gunmetal blue. Forget about boring english potatoes..these root vegetables are what is going on now and they taste a million times better when prepared properly so drop me a line or join the facebook fanpage to get more info.

Dasheen

Now we are not finished just yet did you know in the Caribbean we consume the leaves of the dasheen plant in what is called callaloo. Well we do and I had a hell of a time tracking down some where I am because the Northern Caribbean countries do not consume it. Today I was with the vendors asking slowly for Callaloo and the vendor was like Calla who??? So…. eventually I went to my regular supermarket and bought a can.

Canned Callaloo

No I am not a Grace spokeperson but Grace I am here if you need me (bats eyelashes).If you want to make Jamaican Calalloo fritters go right ahead because there is still enough flavour from the canned variety to make flavourful fritters. Before I get into these fritters I want to tell you there are some generic recipes online with the fritters and  flour, egg, tomato, callaloo , tomatoes and onions in my opinion can never make a tasty fritter .,…it will be too bland. Another thing mine is Vegan! Check on the facebook page for the recipe this week for some real tasty eat all and cry later Jamaican Callaloo fritters. Here are two photos of the fritters and that yellow sauce you see is my homemade papaya pepper sauce that goes well with almost everything. Facebook fans of Taymer Mason will have this recipe to work with this week. You can order a can of Callaloo online as they may not sell it outside the region as you have to cook it really well as it is toxic but maybe in some west Indian groceries would have it fresh but for this recipe I approve the can.

Feast your eyes and maybe  your taste buds later on Jamaican Callaloo Fritters with raw Papaya pepper sauce

Jamaican Callaloo Fritters and Raw Papaya Pepper Sauce

Wondering how the inside looks?

Callaloo Fritters

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2010 7:45 pm

    In Puerto Rico we call that root vegetable “Yautia.” Actually I have made it and I have it in my root vegetable file on my blog. We usually boil it and serve it with freshly sliced onions, avocado and olive oil. This root is so good and we eat it alot.

    • Taymer permalink*
      October 24, 2010 7:48 pm

      I am making this on Tuesday to add to this post then if it is ok with you I will quote you as i have the avocado here right now

    • Taymer permalink*
      October 26, 2010 12:42 pm

      Millie I called my parents and they said that what you are talking about was not the same thing. What you are speaking about is what we call Tania in the Caribbean and it is very close to the dasheen but longer and more of the texture like the same corms called eddoes. I saw it on your blog post and it turns grey blue just like dasheen as they are the same family…to be honest they are all very very close and looking at your photo it looks like dasheen but when I look up the spanish name in the sc journals they are telling me it is Tania the long one..oh well I wanted to settle that in my mind because I want to feature it for Mofo linking back to you so I want to get it right
      Anyways I am going to prepare my dasheen like that with the avocado

  2. bajangyal permalink
    October 25, 2010 1:28 am

    I have a very good friend with Lucian roots and he loves off his ‘blue food’ don’t know of that is a common reference to it or just his family’s own unique nickname.

    Great pic T my mouth is watering! Your sauce looks amazing, is the flavour of the pawpaw still strong? I am not a fan of the fruit due to the smell but your sauce looks so good I would be tempted to try.

  3. Serenity permalink
    October 25, 2010 7:44 am

    I have a can of callaloo. I have no idea how to prepare it. Just heat and eat? What do you serve it with?

    • Taymer permalink*
      October 25, 2010 9:42 am

      did you get your book yet. Make it in spinach rice and all a bit more flavour to the rice because in spinach rice it is all about the flavour of fresh spinach but since the callaloo is cooked out and beat up you need to add an extra umph…or u can make fritters…will put it up on fb and if u dont have fb will email u the recipe…would like to put it on the blog but I have been having issues with some ppl.

  4. October 26, 2010 2:32 pm

    you could quote me in your next post…looking forward to seeing your way of making yautia…

  5. October 30, 2010 11:22 pm

    I really like your blog. It always help what to cook for a very special day. We own a Wall Mirrors ecommerce site and are always looking for great content to share and help inspire. Thanks.

  6. October 31, 2010 8:32 pm

    I definitely want to make those fritters, I’ll have to try and find some tinned callaloo. I can get fresh taro here, I cooked some yesterday!

  7. November 1, 2010 11:12 pm

    Great post and as usual very informative Tay. like you I am hopeless at choosing out the good ‘ground provisions’ as we call them here in T’dad. I leave that up t0 the expert my Vincy dad. Wow…I had heard of the callaloo in a can but never saw it before. Interesting. I just posted a recipe(not Callaloo) that uses the Dasheen leaves. It’s my favourite way to prepare the Dasheen leaves. Shhhhh you did not just hear me as a Trinidadian say that there is something better than my national dish.

  8. Annalee permalink
    November 3, 2010 5:11 am

    Mmmmm….that looks so good. In Chinese cuisine, this root is used for both sweet and savoury food . I prefer savoury like steamed taro cake which traditionally has chinese sweet sausage (lop cheung) and green onions. Luckily for me, there is vegan Chinese restaurant that serves this cake and pan-fry it. Nice crispy crust and soft interior with a spicy dipping sauce. My other taro fix is a baked sweet bun (like brioche) stuffed with sweetened taro filling. The bun is veggie-friendly not vegan friendly. Keep trying to go vegan but having a hard time giving up eggs and cheese.

  9. November 4, 2010 6:13 pm

    I always buy my Calalloo and Dasheen from http://www.EasyCaribbeanShop.com. Where I live in the UK it is very difficult to get hold of these products except online at this store.

    Nice Article Also!!!

    Dave

  10. August 24, 2011 3:45 am

    There are so many possibilities for vegans within the Caribbean food sphere. A whole galaxy of flavours for many still to discover.

  11. masala-loo 216 permalink
    February 1, 2012 6:17 pm

    What a blessing to find your blog!!! I thought I was a lone vegan-caribgal!!! Have learned from many years to adapt most Trini recipes to vegan. Your food is so beautiful (and makes my mouth water)!!! May God bless you, and continue to smile on you. Please continue to grace us with your wonderful recipes!

  12. Evolver permalink
    April 1, 2012 11:45 am

    that coconut mashed dasheen dish looks amazing! where’s the recipe?

  13. Sunil Persad permalink
    October 12, 2013 8:16 pm

    Good

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  2. Borrowing from Friends: Spelt Banana Bread and a Puerto Rican Dish « Vegan In The Sun

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