Caribbean Ital Stew

I love the whole ethos of Rastafarian food – choosing foods as near to their natural state as possible, foods that align with the Old Testament Levitical law and eating foods that nourish and strengthen the body. Organic fruits and vegetables are centre stage and no meat! Although the diet was never meant for weight loss – have you ever seen a fat Rasta?!!!

1 x large onion  – chopped
1 – 2  x tbsp vegetable oil (not olive oil for this one! but rapeseed oil is fine)
2 x fat garlic cloves grated
1 x tsp finely chopped ginger (or grated) adjust to how much you like ginger!
2 x washed and clean spring onions – chopped in half
2 x tsp turmeric (I put turmeric in nearly everything!)
1/2 butternut squash-  chopped into 2 cm chunks
1 x sweet potato  – chopped into 2 cm chunks
1 x large normal potato – chopped into 2 cm chunks
1 x large carrot – chopped into 2 cm chunks
1 -2 ripe plantain – peeled and cut into thick slices
1 x 400g tin of kidney beans
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
3 x cups of water
1 x small tin of sweetcorn (thick slices of corn on the cob look really good also)
8 x allspice berries
Sea salt
2 x tsp ground black pepper
1 x scotch bonnet pepper
2 x sprigs of thyme
2 x bay leaves

Chop all your veggies first ready to put in your pan.
In a large pan gently heat the vegetable oil and then add your chopped onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Now add in the finely chopped ginger (a real time saver if you are in a rush is buying the jars of minced garlic and ginger from a supermarket!) and stir together.
Add in the chopped butternut squash, potato, carrots, drained kidney beans coconut milk and water, stir thoroughly, bring to the boil and then reduce heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Now add in sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaves, turmeric, allspice berries, thyme, and lay the 2 spring onions and scotch bonnet pepper gently on the top.
Simmer for about 15-20 mins with the lid on until the vegetables are just tender. (Make sure there is enough liquid in the pan – so that the vegetables will cook evenly – the mixture thickens naturally as the veggies cook) Finally, add in the sweetcorn and plantain and heat through for another 5 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then serve with seasoned brown rice.
REMEMBER: remove the bay leaves, allspice berries, thyme sprigs and scotch bonnet before serving! adjust salt & pepper as needed.
Like all the recipes I suggest you can add what you have handy – you can add yam, pumpkin, spinach or okra etc.

5 thoughts on “Caribbean Ital Stew

  1. Joanne

    I tested this meal out with a couple of caribbean folks I know and they were amazed! The caribbean pallet is very sensitive to flavour…they can taste a fake curry or missing ingredient by smell alone….trust me i’ve witnessed this in real life. LOL!!! :)….But seriously, this meal passes the test. Excellent meal. So simple to make and so nutritious. I don’t feel bloated or windy, just satisfied and content. Well Done Shelly!


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