Over its 26 years online, Jamaicans.com has collected more than 400 authentically Jamaican recipes. The recipes are invaluable to Jamaicans in the Diaspora who often have trouble finding their favorite homestyle foods overseas. The recipes at Jamaicans.com also inspire local cooks to try their hand at island cuisine and serve as an introduction to Jamaican dishes. The recipes are also the prime resources for non-Jamaicans who love the country’s unique flavors. During the COVID-19 lockdown, searching for Jamaican recipes was a popular activity as people sought comfort by replicating homestyle island cooking or maybe just went looking for something different to make for dinner! Below are the 14 recipes most requested by Jamaican food lovers in Canada.
1. Jamaican Patty
The classic Jamaican patty is made with beef, but vegetarian, chicken, and shrimp patties have also become very popular. A Jamaican patty can be either savory or sweet, although the savory beef version is arguably the most common variety. The patty features a flaky bright yellow crust colored with turmeric enclosing a flavorful filling and then baked in the oven. Savory versions also feature some expected Jamaican heat from the scotch bonnet peppers favored by island chefs. The Jamaican patty is a popular street food in Jamaica and can also be found throughout the Caribbean. It lends itself to local influences.
2. Curry Chicken
The key to Jamaica’s Curry Chicken is its marinade that imparts the flavors of garlic, ginger, thyme, paprika, and not peppers. Reflecting the influence of East Indian culture, curry chicken is the perfect blend of the familiar and the exotic.
3. Peanut Punch
Jamaican Peanut Punch is extremely high in protein and is favored as an energy drink on the island. It is often sold by street vendors who add their own “secret ingredients” like Irish Moss. In its simplest form, the punch is a flavorful combination of peanuts, sugar, white rum, nutmeg, vanilla, and evaporated milk. Can also be made without the alcohol.
4. Sweet Potato Pudding
No Sunday dinner in Jamaica is complete without Sweet Potato Pudding. Sometimes described as “hell a top, hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle,” this flavorful pudding is made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Its combination of vanilla, nutmeg, and allspice, plus the addition of raisins and other dried fruits make this dessert dish popular with diners.
5. Cornmeal Porridge
A dish associated with nostalgia for a Jamaican childhood. Frequently the first meal of the day, this creamy and flavorful porridge is also often the first solid food babies are given. Traditionally eaten with pieces of hard dough bread added, the bread can also be dipped in the porridge to provide a tasty bite.
6. Stew Peas
The combination of red kidney beans, which as called red peas in Jamaica, cooked in coconut milk with hot peppers and flavored with pimento, thyme, and scallion is popular throughout Jamaica. A hearty dish that lends itself as a side to your favorite main course.
7. Boiled Flour Dumpling Recipe
Traditional and homey as can be, a boiled flour dumpling is about as comforting a food as can be had. Some say the dumplings provide no nutritional value, but its fans cannot think of having a meal with a few of the familiar treats.
8. Jamaican Fried Dumplings
In the old days, travelers used to take these fried dumplings with them on long journeys. At that time, they were called “journey cakes.” Later on, they were called “johnnycakes.” They are made of flour, salt, baking powder, butter, and water – what could be simpler? But the dumplings are a great accompaniment to any main dish, and who doesn’t like something fried?
9. Jamaican Fried Chicken
Fried chicken in Jamaica may be marinated in a mix of water, onion powder, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, and curry powder to obtain its unique island flavor. Or these spices can be used as a dry rub instead. A great dish for a Sunday dinner, the chicken gets its spicy reputation from scotch bonnet peppers.
10. Bully Beef
In Jamaica, canned corned beef is known as “bully beef.” It is often served as a spicy dinner dish and is popular as it is quick and easy to make. The beef is combined with onions, fresh thyme, tomatoes, scallions, and scotch bonnet pepper. The fact that it is both satisfying and easy to make has made the dish a go-to meal during hurricane season in Jamaica.
A popular street food choice that features the spices and seasonings favored by the particular cook who prepares it. It is made from a mix of cornmeal and flour and then deep-fried in oil. Often served as a side to escovitch fish.
12. Jamaican Macaroni and Cheese
Jamaica’s version of the all-time favorite crowd-pleasing dish is flavored with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, scotch bonnet peppers, red bell peppers, and a great quantity of sharp cheddar cheese. Irresistible.
13. Jamaican Oxtail and Beans
This hearty stew is similar to beef stew and is slow-cooked with the oxtail accompanied by bacon, potatoes, and canned butter beans. It also features tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, and the flavors of thyme, garlic, and onions.
14. Hominy Porridge
This is a true nostalgia food for native Jamaicans who remember having it for breakfast during their childhoods. The porridge is a combination of coconut milk and condensed milk with brown sugar, nutmeg, and the optional addition of vanilla to flavor it.
Photo – Deposit Photos