4 Recipes to celebrate Caribbean food this Carnival

August 24, 2018

Caribbean food being served on a leaf in Notting Hill Carnival, URBAN eat

It’s Carnival time! Colour, music, dancing and serious celebration will be descending on cities across the world this month as communities worldwide revel in Caribbean culture.

Notting Hill might be the UK’s most famous Carnival, but there are dozens of events taking place all over the country this Summer, from Leeds West Indian Carnival and Birmingham International Carnival, to Carnivals in Preston and Bristol. Wherever you are, there’s no excuse not to throw on your dancing shoes and join the party as bright costumes, joyful dancing and vibrant Caribbean culture takes to the streets.

Festivities & food

But before you get your groove on, don’t forget to fuel up with a plateful of amazing Caribbean cuisine. Caribbean food is growing in popularity all over the UK, with jerk restaurants and Caribbean-influenced vendors popping up left, right and centre.

Caribbean food reflects the brightness and fun of the Carnival tradition, with it’s bold, punchy flavours, diverse textures and rich heritage – it’s basically a Carnival party in the mouth! Want to make your own Caribbean dishes? Here are four of our favourites for Carnival season.

Rice & beans

delicious Caribbean rice and beans dish, URBAN eat

When you hear “Caribbean cuisine”, you almost certainly think of rice and peas (also known as rice and beans). It really doesn’t get more Caribbean than this traditional staple. Every family’s recipe is a little different, and you can add any beans you like to this dish. Just make sure you include the essentials; rice, coconut milk, thyme, onion, garlic and a bit of heat (Scotch bonnet is widely used). It’s rib-sticking, flavourful stuff which will keep you dancing until dawn!

Stuffed Plantain

2 plantains stuffed with peppers, meat, cheese and beans, URBAN eat

Plantain is a staple ingredient in many corners of the Caribbean. Unlike bananas, plantain are much starchier and less sweet, making them a great, rich savoury ingredient. The greener they are, the more savoury they will be. This recipe stuffs baked plantain with delicious veggies cooked in Caribbean flavours.

Mango Jerk Shrimp

Caribbean jerk shrimp recipe, URBAN eat

We couldn’t leave jerk out of our list of Caribbean recipes at Carnival time! But instead of the usual jerk chicken or jerk plantain, this sizzling recipe is all about the seafood. Impressively quick to make, with a perfect balance between seafood fishiness, mango sweetness and fiery chilli-ness, this recipe is a real winner. If you’re looking for a sunshine-infused taste of the Caribbean, you’ve found it here!

Cassava pone

Caribbean cassava pone desert, URBAN eat

Fancy a sugar hit to keep you dancing in the street for even longer? Cassava pone is the treat you’re looking for. Cassava is another classic Caribbean ingredient. It’s a root vegetable with a smooth texture which is often used in a “potato-like context” (top tip: It makes the most incredible chips!). It’s also a hugely versatile ingredient, which works equally well in sweet and savoury dishes.

Here it’s used in the sticky, gooey, coconutty delight that is cassava pone. Simply grate your cassava to form the base of this traditional treat.

What’s your favourite Caribbean dish? What do you love to eat at Carnival time? Share your ultimate Caribbean recipes with other readers below.