At first glance, Calalu seems like Gumbo: an African-style recipe with an African name, but found only in the Americas. The main difference is that Calalu always includes greens, while Gumbo always includes okra (except for those Gumbos thickened with filé powder). There are some gastronomic references to Calalu in Western Africa, particularly Benin (Dahomey) (for example, Countess Morphy page), though these are outnumbered by recipes for Calalu from the Caribbean.

palm oil or any cooking oil
two to three pounds of meat, cut into bite-sized pieces (any combination of red meat, poultry, or fish may be used)
two or more pounds of greens: cassava leaves (Feuilles de Manioc), taro leaves, swiss chard, sorrel leaves, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, chinese spinach, or similar, or a combination of any of these; stems removed and cleaned [note: taro greens must also be
parboiled and rinsed]
two or three tomatoes, peeled and chopped
one cup dried shrimp or prawns
okra, chopped (optional)
onion, chopped (optional)
garlic, minced (optional)
hot chile pepper, cleaned and chopped (optional)
salt, pepper, red pepper or cayenne pepper (to taste)


Heat the oil in a large pot. Fry the meat and onions until the meat is browned.
Add all remaining ingredients and enough water to partially cover them. Cover, reduce heat and simmer on a very low heat for two hours or more.
Serve with Rice.


Serves 4.


country : Benin

course : meat dish


source :