By Marissa Armoogam. Living in the Caribbean has awarded many of us the opportunity to relish in the bounty of the earth and all the goodies she has to offer. The warm sunshine and rich soil pair well together and help bring forth some of the most mouth-watering fruit and vegetation than anywhere else in the world. One such produce which I have personally used many times in varying dishes is the green banana or green fig.
The green fig has long been used in Trinidad cooking in many dishes, I have done some research and all have pointed to great health benefits of consuming the green figs. They contain fibre, vitamins, minerals and a starch that may control blood sugar, manage weight loss and lower blood cholesterol levels. It is high in potassium, a one cup serving of boiled green figs offer 531 milligrams of potassium.
Let me share with you some of the “yum” factors. There are many creative ways to use the green fig:
– Green fig pie
– Boiled and fried green figs with smoked herring/salted fish and tomatoes
– Steamed green figs in coconut milk with curried fish or chicken
– Any soup with green fig
– Sada green fig with roti
– Green fig souse
– Green fig salad
– Curried green figs and roti
– Green fig porridge
– Green fig oil-down with pigtail
I am quite sure that there are many other dishes which are hidden among the gifted local chefs of our twin isles which we will learn about soon enough. Until then let me share with you two recipes. Enjoy!
Green fig pie
5 lbs of green figs (boiled in the skins) – this makes it easier to peel and easy clean-up
2 packs of evaporated milk
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups of grated cheese
5 cloves of garlic grated
Local seasoning minced/cut-up
3 pimentos diced
After peeling the boiled green-figs, mash them the same as you would potatoes, add the salt, pepper, grated garlic, local seasonings, diced pimentos, 3 beaten eggs, the two packs of milk and 2 cups of the grated cheese, mix gently and turn into a buttered baking dish, evenly spread the rest of the cheese across the surface and bake in a 250 degrees oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pie is well baked. (This pie preparation can be done and foiled a day in advance and baked the following day for easy entertaining).
Steamed green fig in coconut milk served with curried fish
5 lbs of green figs (peeled and cut into halves)
2 packs of coconut milk powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Local green seasonings cut-up/blended,
3 diced pimentos
5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 tbsp Golden Ray Cooking Margarine
2 pounds of any fish of choice well seasoned
Oil for frying curry
In a large pot, melt the margarine; add the garlic, seasoning and pimentos and lightly sauté. Add in the green figs and stir, slowly pour in 5 cups of hot water and dissolve in the 2 packs of coconut milk, add the salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a medium flame. Test the green figs by sticking with a fork; the fork should pierce it easily. Lower the heat and let the liquid thicken until the green figs are in a thick creamy sauce. Set aside and prepare the curried fish according to your cooking preferences. Serve the hot curried fish over the steamed green figs.
December 2014 – Issue 13 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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