Sahiena

Gary Rhodes and Fazil Bacchus make a Trinidadian snack of crisp, fried callaloo dasheen leaves served with tangy tamarind chutney
By Gary Rhodes
Sahiena
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a snack
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 30 min resting for the batter
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 6 large callaloo dasheen leaves or very large spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 1 lemon or lime, juice only
  • 300 g split peas flour, or gramflour
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 shadow benny leaves or 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 35 g flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

Tips and Suggestions

these are traditionally served with Tamarind chutney.

Method

1. Remove tough stem from the callaloo dasheen leaves and wash with lemon juice and water (the lemon juice helps remove the juice from the leaves that can irritate the tongue; this step is not needed if you are substituting spinach leaves). Set aside.

2. Mix the split peas flour, garlic, spring onion, onion, turmeric, flour and shadow benny in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in enough water to make a thick but pourable batter. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes

3. Lay out a sheet of heatproof cling film on a work surface. Spread a thin layer of batter onto the cling film, put a dasheen leaf on top and spread another layer of batter on top. Repeat until all the leaves are stacked, ending with a layer of batter on top.

4. Wrap the cling film all the way round, rolling the stacked leaves into a sausage shape. Twist the ends of the cling film to secure.

5. Heat water in a double boiler or steamer. Cut the sahiena in half so it fits in the pan and wrap with another layer of cling film. Tie both ends tightly. Steam for 15 minutes then leave to cool.

6. Unwrap the cling film and cut the sahiena into 3cm thick slices. Coat with seasoned flour, shake of excess and deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain with a slotted spoon and pat off any excess oil on kitchen paper. Serve at once while still hot and crisp.

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