The Haitian legume recipe is a traditional dish that is by far my favourite. Seriously, I could eat it every day and never get bored.
The taste of vegetables nicely seasoned put on top of some good duri collé ak pois or white rice, boiled bananas, fried plantains or even simple potatoes makes this recipe one of the most versatile dishes of the Haitian cuisine.
As the name suggests it, legumes (vegetables) are the basis of this recipe. Just like the “Joumou soup“, we found almost as many ways to prepare the Haitian legume as there is home cooking it, but it seems like cabbage and eggplant are two essential basic ingredients.
Find below a table listing the different vegetables that you can incorporate into your recipe.
LIST OF POTENTIAL FOR VEGETABLES FOR THE HAITIAN LEGUME:
- green/red/yellow pepper
- French shallot
- lima peas
Know that it is not necessary, or even advised, to put all the vegetables from the above table in your recipe, but understand that the majority of vegetables are welcome and it is a matter of personal taste. Again, remember that the two most important vegetables are cabbage and eggplant.
MY VEGETARIAN FRIENDS
Most of the time, the Haitian legume is cooked with beef or veal, but meat is optional and if you are vegetarian, you only have to do a really big “ti-malice” sauce and incorporate to it the boiled and mashed vegetables without adding any meat.
- For the meat:
- 2 pounds of Haitian-style seasoned beef (same preparation as the Joumou soup)
- 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube (Maggi or other)
- For the Haitian legume:
- 1 cup of water
- 2 peeled and diced eggplants
- ⅓ diced cabbage
- 1 pack of cress
- 2 carrots
- 3 shallots
- 1 medium size onion
- 1 kazoo
- 1 scotch bonnet hot pepper (careful not to burst this pepper)
- ½ lime (juice only)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 4 cloves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes (Maggi or other)
- ¼ teaspoon of clove tea powder
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Prepare the vegetables:
- To accelerate and facilitate the cooking, cut all the vegetables into small pieces except for the carrots.
- The Meat :
- Put two tablespoons of cooking oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. (You don’t want to cook meat, but rather sweat it.)
- Place the marinated pieces of meat in a pot, cover and cook over low heat, about 20 minutes or until the water in the meat has evaporated.
- When the water is almost evaporated, the meat is ready to be brown.
- Brown it with tomato paste over medium heat. Be careful not to overcook; the goal here is just to give it some colour and make it more appetizing to the eye.
- When browned, add 2 cups of water, 1 chicken stock cube and simmer 5 minutes.
- If the vegetables are ready, add the vegetables to the meat.
- If vegetables are not ready, turn off the heat and set aside until the vegetables are ready.
- The vegetables:
- While cooking the meat, cook the vegetables.
- In a pot, add a cup of water with 1 chicken bouillon cube (Maggi or other)
- Put all the chopped vegetables in the pot with the carrots on top. Cook gently over medium heat for about 30 minutes and cover (make sure you cover the pot because you want the vegetables to sweat and give their juice)
- Check for doneness:
- After 30 minutes, begin to check for doneness; prick vegetables to ensure consistency. The goal is to make them soft enough so they are easily crushable.
- Mash the vegetables:
- When soft enough, remove from heat.
- First, remove the carrots, slice them and put the pieces in the meat.
- Then, using a ladle with holes remove the vegetables from their water and mash them. (NOTE: DO NOT USE THE ROBOT).
- Place vegetables over the meat as sauce add the remaining ingredients (do not burst the hot pepper) and simmer about 30 minutes or until desired consistency.
- Warning: You do not want the vegetables to be too liquid
1- I like to keep the carrots whole and slice them but it is not mandatory. This is purely aesthetic.
2- Use the cabbage's leaves; don't incorporate the hard part so it doesn't delay the cooking.