Cook the Rasta way

Ital stew one

Total time 30 minutes

Serves for four


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 spring onions, bottoms removed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups (1 cup = 250 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups pumpkin or squash, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cups taro, cut into bite-sized chunks (about 1 pound/450 grams)
  • 1 cup okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 okras)
  • 1/2 yellow plantain, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cups collard greens, sliced (about 4 leaves)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (1 tablespoon)
  • Sea salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon
  • 1 small handful cilantro (coriander), chopped

How to Make It

Step 1 

In a stockpot, warm the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion. Sauté until translucent and softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, allspice and thyme and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Step 2 

Add the green onions, bay leaves, coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer, then add the pumpkin and taro and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat if it turns into a boil.

Add the potatoes and cook for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the okra, plantain and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes.

Finally, remove the green onions (and any bay leaves and thyme sprigs), then add the collard greens.

Simmer until darkened and bright green, about 4 more minutes. At this point, all of the vegetables should be easily pierced with a fork.

Step 3 

Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste; stir in the cilantro and serve.


To give the stew more spice, add a Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper when adding the coconut milk and water and remove before serving. For more spice, burst the pepper in the stew before removing it.