A Traditional Jamaican Sunday Celebration - Food & Recipes

Lynda-Louise Burrell and Catherine Ross, from The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, share traditional Caribbean dishes to serve on a Sunday spread. Read on, to find out exactly how to make 8 recipes that come together to create a very special table of incredible food.

Contents

Introduction

Classics for a Caribbean Sunday Celebration Lunch

Accompaniments to Sunday lunch and rice and peas

Or hear from Lynda's mother Catherine about celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Windrush and her Caribbean food memories.

Try Lynda's oxtail stew recipe, and a recipe for rice and peas. You can stock up on Caribbean Food & Ingredients here

 

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What is a traditional Caribbean Sunday lunch?

Sunday lunch is served in most homes, Caribbean or not, but in a Caribbean home it’s particularly special as traditionally, guests are invited to join the family. The tradition is still going in Caribbean families today, especially those who go to church. Families, friends and guests sit down together and enjoy delicious, homecooked Caribbean food, with dishes usually made by the host, or sometimes brought along by others at the table.

The occasion is a great chance for families to enjoy using their very best tableware, including their finest plates, glasses, cutlery, tablecloths, and place settings. In the Windrush era, when the Windrush generation was first setting up home in Britain, “best” tableware often came in beautiful shapes with ornate, decorative patterns and gilt and gold-rimmed edges.

The table would often be laid by the family’s children, under the watchful eye of their elders, and if there were quite a few guests, two tables would be used – one for children and one for adults. It was a tight squeeze but it guaranteed entertaining conversation covering all kinds of subjects and plenty of laughter.

Sadly, these types of dining occasions are becoming less and less frequent. So this is a call to get family and friends together again, to bring out the best china, to feast on wonderful food, and share stories and memories. It will also be a great excuse to show off your culinary skills and tuck into these tasty Caribbean dishes…

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Oxtail stew recipe

Rice and peas recipe

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Coleslaw recipe

Serves 6 -8

Introduction

"In the Caribbean, coleslaw is a more popular accompaniment to meals than a green salad. That’s because cabbage is more widely available than lettuce and when it’s used to create coleslaw, it’s tasty, tangy, and made even more delicious with the addition of a pinch and punch of spice! Make ahead and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving."


Ingredients for Caribbean coleslaw

  • 1 large white cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 medium brown onion, shredded
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced, diagonally
  • 1 can (165g) sweetcorn, drained
  • ¼ sweet red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • ¼ sweet yellow pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and finely chopped on the diagonal
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jar 340ml mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp salad cream
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp (1 ml) salt

 Method

  1. Put into a large bowl, and whisk together mayonnaise, salad cream, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, honey (optional), dried thyme, garlic, black pepper, and salt.
  2. Let it stand for 5- 10 minutes.
  3. Wash the cabbage, carrot, brown onion, spring onions, sweetcorn, red and yellow sweet peppers, and scotch bonnet.
  4. Toss evenly to coat all of the wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Let the salad stand for 20 minutes before serving, so all the flavours come together.
  6. Enjoy this delicious dish!
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

 

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Fried Plantain recipe


Ingredients for fried plantain

  • 2 Ripe plantains
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sea salt (optional)
  • Squeeze of lime (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the 2 ends off the plantain.
  2. Score the peel lengthwise and try not to cut the plantain flesh before peeling and opening up the skin with your hands.
  3. Slice on the diagonal of about 1 cm thick.
  4. Put enough oil in the Dutch pot or frying pan to either shallow or deep fry. Only when the oil is hot, put some of the plantain pieces in the pan BUT do not overcrowd the pan. It’s best to fry in small batches.
  5. Fry in a Dutch pot or frying pan for 1-2 minutes on both sides on a medium-high heat until they are golden brown.
  6. Place the cooked plantain pieces onto a piece of kitchen roll to get rid of the excess oil.
  7. Yummy!
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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Cheese and Macaroni recipe

Introduction

Serves 6 - 8

Cheese and macaroni is a favourite dish throughout the Caribbean, but recipes and ingredients vary within households and islands on this comfort food classic. The seasonings, the choice of cheese (1 or a number of different cheese) and some islands even include eggs and evaporated milk to give the dish even more flavour. All of the above plus the use of elbow macaroni, make this dish distinctly different to traditional English recipe.

Cheese and macaroni is usually served as a side dish and is also known as macaroni pie, macaroni and cheese, or simply mac and cheese. Whatever name it goes by, it’s great served any time, especially at family parties. Everyone makes what they say is the best version of this Caribbean culinary legend! 


Ingredients for cheese and macaroni

  • 1kg dried macaroni
  • 250g mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 250g red Leicester cheese, grated
  • 250g mozzarella, grated
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs (does not have to be included)
  • 500 ml evaporated milk (can be substituted for whole or semi-skimmed milk) does not have to be included)
  • 100g plain flour (does not have to be included)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees/ Fan 180 degrees.
  2. Add the onion to a large frying pan and soften for about 5 minutes.
  3. Keep the onions to one side on a small plate or small bowl.
  4. Put the water and the salt into a Dutch pot or large saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil.
  5. Pour the macaroni in to the salted water gently and cook for 10 minutes so the macaroni is al dente (as it will continue to cook in the oven).
  6. Drain off the water when the macaroni is cooked and toss the macaroni with the butter and black pepper.
  7. Pour the milk, eggs, and flour into a bowl, and whisk in the mustard, paprika, chilli powder, black pepper, scotch bonnet and the onions that were softened earlier, with 1/2 of all of the cheeses. (if you are not adding the milk, eggs and flour gently fold in the mustard, paprika, chilli powder, black pepper, scotch bonnet and the onions)
  8. Add this cheesy goodness to the macaroni in the Dutch pot and stir to ensure all of the macaroni is covered in the cheesy sauce.
  9. Add a layer of the cheesy macaroni in an oven-proof dish and then add a handful more of the cheese to the layer.
  10. Continue to do this layer by layer until the macaroni and cheese is layered up BUT save a handful of the cheese for the top of the dish to create a cheesy topping.
  11. Bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown.
  12. Serve and let’s eat!
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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Hard Food recipe

"Hard food also known as ground provisions are often root vegetables, hearty food that fills you up and keeps you going all day. Hard foods are starchy foods that are usually cooked by boiling them in salted water, but some are popularly oven cooked or fried. They are ‘moreish’ and generally served as a side dish to any meal whether that is for breakfast right through to supper.

Hard food is used in soups, particularly, Saturday soup, a dish that is arguably the best of the week!"

Hard food includes:

  • white yam
  • green banana
  • plantain
  • boiled dumpling
  • dasheen
  • cassava
  • breadfruit
  • cho cho
  • sweet potato
  • pumpkin
  • potato

However, ground provisions are those listed above that grow in the ground and have roots i.e. a root vegetable.

Serves 4

White Yam and Green Banana recipe

Cook’s notes

  1. Peeling yam and green banana can be a little bit tricky as the skins are hard to remove.
  2. Until you have peeled all the yam slices and bananas, keep them covered in cold water until you are ready to cook them or they will go brown.

Ingredients

  • 4 green banana
  • 1 lb white yam
  • A pinch of salt

Peeling a green banana

  1. Cut off both ends of the banana and score the peel lengthwise down the middle. Try not to cut the banana flesh.
  2. Wash the skins to get rid of any grit and dirt, and then If you want to get a smooth green banana, cook them in their skins. They will then be easier to peel.
  3. If you prefer to peel the banana, then do so but until you are ready to cook them, keep them covered in cold water or they will go brown.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

Peeling a yam

  1. Wash the yam to get rid of any grit or dirt.
  2. Cut the yam into slices about an inch or an inch and a half thick this will make the yam easier to peel.
  3. Peel each of the slices and put each one when done in a pan of cold water to stop the yam going brown before it is cooked.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

Boiled Dumplings recipe


 Ingredients for boiled dumplings

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • Water (enough to bind the dough, adding a splash at a time to the flour)

 Method

  1. Mix the plain flour, optional salt, with water gradually to form a firm dough.
  2. Knead the dough into the shape of dumplings about 8 -10 round shapes and then slightly flatten them down with the palm of your hand.
  3. Make all the dumplings first before placing them into a Dutch pot or saucepan that contains 4 cups of rolling boiling salted (1/2 – 1 tsp salt if you have salted the dumplings mix) water. Luckily, they can be boiled for a long time and won’t break apart.
  4. Add the white yam, and green banana, to the boiling water.
  5. Cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes or until a fork can easily pass through each piece of hard food.
  6. Et voila! Enjoy!
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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Caribbean Punch recipe

Serves 10 -12

No Caribbean meal is complete without a soft drink in a long glass or an alcoholic tipple involving white rum, so here is a recipe for my favourite thirst quencher and mood maker! 

Whether it’s a rum punch or a fruit punch, Caribbean punch is always a popular drink. To make it perfect every time, just remember the classic rhyme: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak.”


Ingredients for Caribbean punch

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups orange Juice
  • 2 cups pineapple Juice
  • 2.5 cups strawberry flavoured syrup (or other red coloured syrup)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups, 750 ml over-proof rum, white or dark (optional)

 Method

  1. Mix everything together in a pitcher.
  2. Place in the refrigerator to chill (if made with alcohol serve after 30 – 60 minutes as it improves the taste).
  3. Adjust to taste.
  4. Serve cold poured over ice.
  5. Garnish with slices of lime and/or pieces of pineapple and a maraschino cherry.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

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Penny Bread recipe

Cook's note: Can be eaten alone, with butter, dipped into hot chocolate, Caribbean-style or with cold meats and cheese. 

Serves 4, 2 portions per person


Ingredients for Penny bread

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoons lard/shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • if you do not want to use lard go right ahead and use 2 1/12 tablespoons of butter.
  • Lukewarm water (enough to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 or 325 degrees
  2. Combine all of the ingredients together holding back the water.
  3. Mix with your hands and slowly pour in the water a drop at a time while kneading the mixture into a soft dough.
  4. Clean the bowl as you go so none of the mixture is left behind. Do this by using the dough mixture. This will take approximately 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle flour on a chopping board or clean surface and continue to knead the dough so it is smooth and soft using the heel of your hand adding more flour if needed.
  6. Shape the dough into a round ball
  7. Sprinkle flour in the bowl and place the dough onto it
  8. Cover the bowl with a tea-towel and let the dough rest for 40 minutes in a warm place
  9. Take off the tea-towel from the bowl and use your knuckles to push down to take out the air and re-kneed again rolling the dough into a sausage shape.
  10. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape (pushing inward with your fingers) into round shapes.
  11. Roll each piece out in your hand and shape into small baguette shapes folding them into themselves. Roll them out and pinch each end using your thumb and forefinger approx. 4 - 6 inches per roll. At the final point of rolling out the baguette, shape it in traditional style by making sure the ends are pinched and pointed and the middle part of the baguette a bit higher.
  12. Cover the penny bread again with a clean cloth and rest for 30 minutes in a warm area
  13. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Let the penny bread rest for 30 minutes. The perfect penny bread will be crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

Feeling Inspired? Read Catherine's story about the food and ingredients from the Windrush generation.



1 comment

  • I think that it is important to hear about the traditions from St Kitts and to acknowledge how things differ on the other islands. My parents were Indian Trinidadians and had the same community get togethers with all of the Caribbean people they knew from the Windrush generation for many years. A lot more Indian food was prepared but so was Trini macaroni pie, dumplings, rice and peas, fried fish and different kinds of roti and vegetable and salad dishes as well as home made fruit cake! I think we should talk about all of the different islands and their peoples in remembering Windrush 75 – my parents were a big part of it and came over in 1956 and 1958. It was lovely to grow up in a community with other Trinis and friends from the other islands too. Let’s remember all the traditions and all the people – including the Indian pioneers’ influence in food and religion and the joy of sharing with one another.

    Indira Josling on

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