Trinidadian Sweet Potato Patties with Spicy Coconut and Callaloo Sauce

This recipe is a take on the Caribbean twist of crab cakes with a vegetarian substitute. The Trinidad and Tobago recipe for crab cakes that were coated in grated sweet potato and served with a Callaloo sauce. Callaloo is a leafy green similar to spinach and collard greens. The recipe serves about two to three people and takes about 30 minutes to prepare and eat. The recipe can be altered to accommodate vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers. Share your photos with us on our social media pages.

What you’ll need for the patties:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • whole clove of garlic
  • 2 chopped scotch bonnets pepper (alter amount for spice/flavor preference)
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • salt & pepper
  • a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • lime the zest (1 lime)
  • sprinkle of thyme leaves

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the sweet potato cubes with the olive oil, allspice, cumin, dried thyme, chilli flakes salt & pepper. Roast the head of garlic at the same time.
  3. Roast until soft. About 20 minutes.
  4. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl with half of the roasted garlic clove.
  5. Cook the onions and scotch bonnet with a pinch of salt, in a little oil for a few minutes until softened.
  6. Stir this into the potatoes with the chopped coriander and lime zest.
  7.  Cover and leave to rest in the fridge during the preparation of the sauce.

What you’ll need for the Coconut and Callaloo Sauce:

  • 1 tin coconut milk, 400 ml
  • 125g of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • the rest of the roasted garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 green
  • 1chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 fresh thyme springs
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 a lime (juice)
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped, extra for garnish


What to do:

  1. Put everything except lime juice & coriander in a large saucepan, season with salt & pepper and bring to the boil stirring to soften the spinach.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20-25  minutes,
  3. Remove the whole scotch bonnet and thyme sprigs and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. If not hot enough cut the flesh from the scotch bonnet and add that to the sauce and blend again.
  4. Add the lime juice and chopped coriander and taste for seasoning, add more salt if necessary.
  5. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and keep warm while you cook the cakes.
  6. Shape the sweet potato mix into patties.
  7.  Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a medium high heat.
  8. When the oil is hot, add the cakes to the pan and cook on each side until browned and crispy.
  9. Pour enough sauce into your dishes.
  10. Sprinkle with some fresh coriander and serve with extra lime wedges to squeeze over.

You can enjoy this dish with a bowl of rice, salad or by itself. Works perfectly as a casually meal with friends or a elegant dinner with family.


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