A very popular street food of Trinidad and Tobago, this vegan corn soup is so delicious that you will get addicted to its flavors.
When I was around 11 years old, my father got posted at a beautiful North Eastern state of India- Sikkim. During the initial 1.5 years of his tenure at Sikkim, he was based in North Sikkim (Chungthang). Since there were no good schools at Chungthang at that time, we stayed back at Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim and visited our father only during our school holidays.
Later he also got transferred to Gangtok from Chungthang and we shifted to a beautiful new house with a huge garden and a beautiful kitchen garden too.
I remember, there was a herb grown in that kitchen garden which didn’t look like coriander but tasted just like it, in fact, it had a stronger flavor. We didn’t know what it was and who planted it there but we loved it. Later my parents took the saplings of that herb to my grandparent’s house in Uttarakhand and they still have it in their garden.
That was not an era of Google and nobody in that area knew what it was so we started calling it Sikkim wala dhaniya (Sikkim’s Coriander).
A few days back, I came across an amazing Caribbean recipe – Trinidad corn soup. In the recipe, it was mentioned that one of the key ingredients of that soup is Shado beni or Culantro (not cilantro). When I searched about Shado beni, I was so pleased to know that it’s that same coriander like herb which we had in our kitchen Garden at Sikkim. It also amazed me to know that it’s a Caribbean herb.
It will always be a mystery for us to know how this Caribbean herb reached the North Eastern hills of India and also thrived in there.
If you have also ever come across any such interesting ingredient, please share with me in the comments section.
Coming back to the recipe- Trinidad corn soup, which helped me in knowing the name of this amazing herb Shado beni.
It’s a very popular street food of Trinidad and Tobago and is nothing like normal corn soup. I made it for the first time and both Amit and I loved it. Now, I can’t wait to make it for my parents and sister. I am sure they will love it too.
If you are also a soup lover, then this is a must try recipe. It has become my favorite soup recipe now.
Though Shado beni is a key ingredient in this recipe if you could not find it, use lots of green coriander leaves.
Forgot to share that I discovered something very interesting about the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago. A lot of their popular dishes have Indian names like Ada roti, Curry Bhindhi, Curry Sem, Fried Kareli, Baingan choka, Kohra Tarkari, Aloo Choka. Even Shado beni has another name which sounds like the Hindi name of coriander – Bandhaniya (Dhaniya is the Hindi name of coriander). The credit goes to the East Indian laborers who took the Indian food to Trinidad.
Maybe I was wrong…maybe Shado beni was never brought to India from Caribbean Islands…maybe it was Bandhaniya which was taken to these islands from India
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How to make Vegan Trinidad Corn Soup?
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Making time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
- Split peas (peele matar ki dal): 1 cup
- Chopped pumpkin: 1 cup + ½ a cup
- Chopped carrot: ½ a cup
- Chopped onion: ½ a cup
- Chopped potato: ½ a cup
- Chopped celery: ¼ cup
- Corn on the cob: 1 (Cut into slices)
- Chopped Shado beni: ½ a cup/ Coriander leaves: 1 cup
- Garlic cloves: 6-7
- Hot pepper: 3-4 / red chilies: 4-5 (or as per your taste)
- Boiled chickpeas: 1 cup
- Corn kernels: ½ a cup
- Coconut milk: 1 cup
- Vegetable stock cube: 1
- Flour: ½ a cup
- Thyme: ½ a teaspoon
- Salt: as per taste
- Black pepper powder: 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil/ butter: 1 tablespoon
- Water: around 2 ltrs
- Wash the split peas and cook with 1 cup of chopped pumpkin till it becomes mushy. I used a pressure cooker for this step.
- Mash the boiled split peas and pumpkin using a hand blender.
- In a grinding jar, put the Shado beni/ cilantro, garlic cloves, hot pepper/ red chilies and grind to make a paste. Keep the paste aside.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, pinch of salt and water to make a smooth dough. Make small balls from this dough and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add in the chopped onions. Saute for few seconds and then add in the chopped celery.
- Saute the celery for few seconds and then add in the mashed split peas and pumpkin, around 4 cups of water, 1 vegetable stock cube.
- Let it cook for around 2-3 minutes and then add in the coconut milk.
- Next add in the Shado beni paste, chopped potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, corn slices, corn kernels, and dumplings. Add more water if needed. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked.
- Pour in a soup bowl and enjoy hot!