Plantain porridge

Plantain porridge is a stable Jamaican breakfast item. Its creamy and has warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s naturally gluten, dairy and grain free. I grew up eating porridge, so I am happy to share a cleaned-up version of a recipe that’s close to my heart.

Plantain porridge

What is porridge?

Porridge is a thick soup usually made from a starch vegetable. Porridge can be made from green bananas, green plantain and oats. However, it is mostly made in Jamaica using cornmeal.

Do you have to use green plantains to make plantain porridge?

While its usually made with green plantains, you can use plantains at any stage of ripeness. Just keep in mind that the riper the plantain the sweeter the porridge will taste which may affect whether or not to use a date in the recipe.

What goes well with plantain porridge?

I like to enjoy plantain porridge with a little coconut milk drizzled on top with some ground cinnamon, but you can add on some sliced fruit if you wish. It’s a great addition to have with eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Other things to know about this recipe:

  1. When blending the plantain, be sure to get it very smooth. This will help prevent lumps and having any grit in your porridge.
  2. You can increase the cinnamon flavor by adding the cinnamon to the water as it boils.
  3. As soon as you add the blended plantain to the boiling water, reduce the heat to low and stir continuously as it cooks to prevent lumps.
  4. As the porridge cools it will thicken.
  5. To reheat, add a little bit of coconut milk, stir and heat on the stove or in the microwave for a minute or two.
  6. I prefer to use lite coconut milk like this one.

Other recipes to try

Check out these other breakfast recipes on my blog like Jerk Style Bacon or Callaloo and Saltfish.

Plantain porridge

Plantain Porridge

Thick and creamy Jamaican breakfast that can be enjoyed all day long.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Sauce pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup

Ingredients
  

  • 1 green plantain peeled and diced
  • 1 date deseeded
  • 1 ½ cup lite coconut milk divided 1 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions
 

  • Add plantain to blender along with the date, 1 cup lite coconut milk, 1/4 tsp salt and ground nutmeg.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Bring 1 1/2 cup water to a boil in a sauce pan.
  • Add blended plantain mixture to boiling water and reduce heat to simmer. Stir continuously.
  • Add cinnamon stick and remaining coconut milk.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring continuously.
  • Discard cinnamon stick.
  • Serve drizzled with more coconut milk and ground cinnamon.
Keyword caribbean, caribbean food, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, plantain, plantain porridge, plantain recipe, porridge, whole30

Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken is always a hit in our house. While other Caribbean countries have their own version, Jamaicans added their own twist to it by using a bit of jerk seasoning in the marinade. Jerk seasoning can be used as a general all-purpose seasoning and not just in jerk recipes. The chicken is also browned first before adding the rest of the aromatics in before braising. This is what helps gives the dish the brown color and really adds to the flavor. While the recipe calls for chicken parts, a whole chicken can be cut up into 1–2-inch chunks and used. If you aren’t comfortable butchering a whole chicken, you can have the butcher at your supermarket do this for you. Just ask them to cut the chicken up for making a stew.

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Brown stew chicken served with cauliflower rice.
Brown Stew Chicken Served with Cauliflower Rice

What is browning?

Browning (or burnt sugar) is brown or cane sugar that has been caramelized until it becomes very dark. Many seasoned Jamaican cooks make this from scratch, but using store bought browning is just fine. Despite it being made from pure sugar, it’s not very sweet tasting. Actually, using a little goes a long way. Start small and if after you mix it in you think it needs more then add a little more. Just remember that the chicken will get a bit darker when cooked and if you use too much it can make the dish bitter.

If you are doing a Whole30, you can use coconut aminos or coconut teriyaki instead. Coconut teriyaki works best because it’s a bit thicker and will work more like the browning will. The chicken doesn’t get as browned as if you used browning, but you still get a nice color. Adding an extra tablespoon when adding in the ketchup could give the brown stew chicken a more desired look.

Why use ketchup?

While the dish cooks, it releases its own liquid and makes a natural gravy so there is no need to add water. The gravy by itself is good and you don’t need to add anything else, it’s traditional to add a few tablespoons of ketchup. Ketchup is very common in Caribbean cooking, especially when making stews. It’s like our version of tomato paste. The ketchup thickens the gravy and add an extra layer of flavor and umami. Instead of using tomato ketchup, as is traditional in brown stew chicken, the carrot ketchup from The New Primal (affiliate link) is my go-to. If you are not a fan of either, you could use BBQ sauce instead.

Can brown stew chicken be cooked in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely! Use the sauté function to brown the chicken without the seasoning marinade (onion, bell pepper, pimento etc.). After adding the seasonings back in after searing the chicken, place the lid on top of the Instant Pot but don’t lock it on. You should be able to just pull the lid up when needed. Allow the chicken to cook for 5 minutes then turn off sauté mode. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 13 minutes on high pressure. Allow the Instant Pot to natural release for 10 minutes then manually release the remaining pressure.

What to serve brown stew chicken with?

Brown stew chicken can be served with a variety of sides. Rice and peas or just plain white rice is traditional, but if you are making this Whole30 then cauliflower rice is perfect. Fried plantain and vegetable salad are also great sides to add. And for dessert, this Bread Pudding recipe is never a bad idea.

Brown Stew Chicken

A gluten free Jamaican version of a Caribbean classic. Brown stew chicken is a rich and flavorful chicken stew that has been marinated in classic Jamaican spices and slowly braised until tender. Perfect for weeknight dinners that will transport you to the Caribbean.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large skillet or Dutch pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 pounds chicken leg and thigh work best.
  • ½ onion sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1 TBSP pimento seed
  • 1 TBSP poultry seasoning
  • 1 TBSP all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 TBSP jerk seasoning optional
  • ½ TBSP dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp browning see notes for Whole30 swap
  • 2-3 TBSP ketchup I use carrot ketchup
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Wash chicken and pat dry.
  • Add onion, green bell pepper, green onion, pimento, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning jerk seasoning (if using), poultry seasoning, browning, dried thyme, salt and pepper to the chicken and mix.
  • Marinate chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet or Dutch pot on the stove on medium heat.
  • Once heated, add olive oil.
  • When olive oil is heated, add chicken and marinade.
  • Cover and let the chicken get brown, about 3 minutes. Once one side is browned, flip and let the other side brown while covered.
  • Once the chicken is browned on both sides, scrape the bottom of the pot/skillet. You should have some liquid released by this point.
  • Cover the pot/skillet, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir. let cook another 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  • Add in ketchup, stir and let cook another 5 minutes.
  • Serve with your white rice or cauliflower rice and enjoy!

Notes

If you can marinate this ahead of time, overnight is best covered in the fridge. Remove 30 minutes before cooking so the chicken can get to room temperature.
If you want to make this Whole30, use 1 TBSP coconut aminos or coconut teriyaki instead of browning.
If there is any left, this is even better the next day.
Keyword brown stew, brown stew chicken, chicken, gluten free, grain free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe

Jamaican Curry Chicken

Jamaican curry chicken is one of my favorite dishes from my childhood. When I realized I could make this on Whole30 it made me so happy. Its super easy to make and packs so much flavor!

Curry chicken with cauliflower rice.
Curry chicken served with cauliflower rice

What is the history of curry in Jamaica?

After slavery ended, many indentured workers came to the island looking for work on plantations. The Indians were among the first to come to the island to work on sugar cane plantations. They brought their spices and recipes with them. Curry itself is not a spice, but a mixture of different spices used to marinate meat for stews.

How is Jamaican curry chicken different from curry chicken in India?

There are two major differences. The first difference is that Jamaicans will toast curry powder in a neutral oil. This is process is called burning the curry. Raw curry powder can give some people digestive discomfort and toasting it prevents that from happening. The second is that in India, coconut milk is used to simmer the chicken whereas in Jamaica water is used. In Jamaica, we don’t always add water when making curry chicken as the chicken will release its own liquid as it cooks.

Tips for making this dish

  1. Use whatever part of the chicken you like. That can be boneless skinless thigh or breast or bone in skin on.
  2. For a more authentic meal, you could cut up a whole chicken. It’s usually cheaper to get a whole chicken than chicken parts. However, A whole chicken will take a bit longer to break down so plan extra time.
  3. As the chicken cooks it will release its own liquid so there is no need to add water in the beginning. If you choose to add water, do not submerge the chicken in water.
  4. You can reserve half of the onion, bell pepper and green onion before marinating and add that in halfway through the cooking. This is called a second seasoning.
  5. Growing up we didn’t add carrots or potato, but you absolutely can. I added carrots and chayote squash to this recipe. Other vegetables you can add are green plantain, turnip, zucchini and rutabaga.
  6. The type of curry powder you use matters. If you can find it, use a Jamaican curry powder like All Seasoning (Whole30 compatible). If you cannot find a Jamaican curry powder, then add a bit more turmeric to your curry powder to give it more of a yellow color.
  7. If you are on the AIP protocol, use turmeric instead of curry powder. Omit black pepper, bell pepper and pimento. If you cannot find an AIP compliant all-purpose seasoning, then you can omit it.

What can be served with Jamaican curry chicken?

To keep this Whole30 serve with cauliflower rice and vegetable salad. If you are not doing a Whole30, white rice is the way to go. If you added potato and carrots, you could enjoy as a standalone meal. Looking for more Whole30 Jamaican meals? Check out my recipe for Brow Stew Chicken and Chicken Chop Suey.

Whole30 Jamaican Curry Chicken

A Jamaican twist on an Indian style of cooking.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large skillet with lid
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds chicken breast or thigh cut in 1 inch chucks
  • 4 stalks scallion/green onion chopped⠀⠀
  • 1 small onion sliced⠀⠀
  • 3 carrots chopped⠀⠀
  • 1 chayote squash peeled and cubed ⠀⠀
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped⠀⠀
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped⠀⠀
  • 1 inch fresh ginger chopped⠀⠀
  • 1 tsp salt⠀⠀
  • 1 tsp black pepper⠀⠀
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning ⠀⠀
  • 1 tbsp pimento smashed⠀⠀
  • 4 tbsp curry powder divided⠀⠀
  • 1 cup water⠀⠀
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Season chicken with half of the onion, garlic, scallion, ginger and bell pepper. Add salt, black pepper, all purpose and poultry seasonings, pimento, 2 tbsp curry powder and let marinate 30 minutes to overnight. ⠀⠀
  • In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat add oil and once melted add the remaining curry powder. Stir until fragrant (1 minute). This is called burning the curry. ⠀⠀
  • Add in chicken and marinade to the pot and stir to combine. Add water and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the other half of the onion, garlic, ginger, bell pepper and scallion. Also add the carrots and chayote squash.
  • Stir, cover and cook another 15 - 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. ⠀⠀
  • Serve with cauli rice or your favorite sides.
Keyword caribbean food, gluten free, grain free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, whole30

Chicken Foot Soup (Saturday Soup)

A Whole30 remix of one of my favorite Saturday soups. It uses a very uncommon part of the chicken, feet. This soup was really easy to make whole30 and is perfect for meal prep. There is usually a soup mix that’s added but the ingredients aren’t Whole30, so I created a mix that’s very close.

Chicken Foot Soup (Saturday Soup)

Traditional Saturday soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Dutch pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 lbs chicken feet trimmed and nails cut⠀⠀
  • 2 lbs kabocha squash peeled and diced⠀⠀
  • 1 lb yellow yam peeled and diced⠀⠀
  • ½ lb cho cho chayote squash, peeled, seeded and diced⠀⠀
  • ½ lb carrots peeled and diced⠀⠀
  • 2 stalks escallion green onion, chopped⠀
  • 6 pimento allspice berries⠀
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger or powder⠀⠀
  • 4-6 cloves garlic chopped⠀⠀
  • 4 bay leaves⠀⠀
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme⠀⠀
  • 5-6 cups water or broth⠀⠀
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soup mix

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion
  • 1 paprika
  • 1 turmeric
  • 1 dried parsley
  • 1 salt

Instructions
 

  • Rinse chicken feet with vinegar 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. ⠀⠀
  • In a large pot add pumpkin, carrots, garlic, ginger, chicken feet and water and bring to a boil. There may be fat that floats to the top, just skim it off. ⠀⠀
  • Once it’s boiling add cho cho and yam and let simmer covered on medium low heat for 40 minutes.
  • Add in soup mix, 1/2 tsp salt, thyme, bay leaves, pimento and escallion. Stir and let simmer for 10 more minutes. ⠀⠀
  • Taste for salt and pepper, serve in a bowl and enjoy!

Notes

You can add in turnips and potatoes.
If you aren't doing a Whole30 you can add corn, dumplings and some broken up spaghetti to make it more traditional.
When you dice the yam make sure you put it in cold water, this is to prevent browning.
Keyword caribbean food, chicken soup, gluten free, grain free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, soup, whole30

Instant Pot Jamaican Stew Peas

Stew peas is a meal you make in big pot of on the weekend and can stretch to the middle of the week. My dumpling recipe works great in this recipe to keep it gluten free, and I also used canned peas to save time. 

Instant Pot Jamaican Stew Peas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Instant Pot
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

Stew Peas

  • 2-2.5 lbs pig tails⠀
  • 2 cans kidney beans⠀
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk⠀
  • 4 cups water or broth⠀
  • 1 TBSP pimento seeds crushed ⠀
  • 2 stalks green onion chopped into chunks⠀
  • 1 medium onion chopped⠀
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped⠀
  • 2 sprigs of thyme ⠀
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper or 1 tsp cayenne or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional⠀
  • Salt to taste⠀

Spinners

  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ - 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour has it

Instructions
 

  • Trim big pieces of fat off the pig tails. Leave some of the fat as it will add flavor.
  • Soak pig tail in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain, rinse and pat dry.
  • Season the pig tails liberally with salt. ⠀
  • In a bowl add flour, salt, xantham gum (if needed) and mix. ⠀
  • Slowly add water (about a tablespoon at a time) and knead until a dough forms. ⠀
  • Pinch small pieces of the dough and rub between your hands to form very thin cigar shaped dumplings. The ends should be rounded. ⠀
  • Combine all ingredients into the instant pot with 1/2 tsp of salt and stir. Do not exceed the max fill line. Make sure you get the remnants at the bottom of the can as that’s what will you give the dish color. Add in spinners and make sure they get covered by liquid. ⠀
  • Close the lid (ensure your lid is set to sealing) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. ⠀
  • 10. Once done let the instant pot naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release. ⠀
  • 11. Turn on the sauté mode and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken. Be sure to stir the bottom often so it doesn’t stick.
  • 12. Serve over rice or as is in a bowl. Enjoy!

Notes

You could use pigeon peas instead of kidney beans.
The dish can be made with pig tails beef stew meat, turkey necks or meatless. For a meatless see my Red Peas Soup recipe.
No instant Pot/pressure cooker? Simmer in Dutch oven for 1.5 - 2 hours on medium low heat.
Keyword caribbean food, gluten free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, soup, stew, stew peas

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Dutch pot
  • Immersion blender or blender
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pounds asparagus trimmed and cut in to 1 inch pieces
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 TBSP oil olive or avocado
  • 3 cups broth or water an additional cup of water warm
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf fresh or dry
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot add onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add asparagus, salt and garlic powder. Sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add bay leaf, parsnips and broth and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once asparagus and parsnips are fork tender remove bay leaf. You can either blend in batches using a blender or blend in the pan. Use the extra cup of water as needed to help blend the soup. You can leave some chunks if you want to.
  • Serve garnished with a lime and enjoy!

Notes

Add 1/2 cup coconut cream if desired.
If using blender let contents cool a bit before blending. work in batches.
Keyword asparagus, asparagus soup, gluten free, grain free, soup, spring recipe, whole30