Definition of callaloo in English:


(also callalou)


  • 1[mass noun] The spinach-like leaves of a tropical American plant, used in Caribbean cooking.

    • ‘The veggie fritters were mild with no discernible taste from the callaloo, only a back kick of geera, hot pepper and a sweet and sour tang from the chutney.’
    • ‘I was quite tired when I made it home after eight, had a nice curried chicken with steamed callaloo and white rice for dinner.’
    • ‘The chef, Giorgio Rusconi, roasted red snapper stuffed with a savory mixture of spinachlike callaloo and okra.’
    • ‘Before we can start cooking the callaloo, it should be cleaned to get rids of some of the old, dry and less nutrious leaves.’
    • ‘There are thousands of unpretentious little beach shacks serving jerk chicken, callaloo and peas'n'rice - all for a couple of pounds.’
    • ‘Slice medium-sized onions and combine with chopped callaloo and saltfish.’
    1. 1.1A soup or stew made with callaloo leaves.
      ‘I served it with rice and callalou’
      • ‘Cost-conscious and aware of the large serving sizes, my friend and I shared a satisfying meal of rice, callaloo, stew beef, peas and macaroni pie for $28.’
      • ‘Popular Caribbean staples include pigeon peas and rice, and ‘callaloo,’ a dish made from callaloo greens, okra, salted pork, crab, and fresh fish.’
      • ‘There, we tried some local soup - the callaloo - and that was excellent.’
      • ‘Favorite Caribbean dishes enjoyed in St. Lucia include fish soup, callaloo and plantains prepared in many different ways.’
      • ‘We all speak the same language as our countrymen and know of roti, cowheel soup, callaloo and all the other indigenous dishes.’
      • ‘It is the name given to various green leaves which form the chief ingredient of the soup called callaloo, popular in the West Indies and Brazil.’
      • ‘They come here to hear calypso and eat pelau, callaloo, roti and dasheen.’
      • ‘It serves the best callaloo and is one of the few places travelers can get fresh-brewed coffee on the island.’
      • ‘Trinidadians are said by Creoles to be ethnically ‘mixed-up’ like callaloo, a kind of soup made from dasheen leaves and containing crab.’
      • ‘On one end is the breezy restaurant, where Italian chef Benedetto La Fiura cooks up Carib-Continental dishes like callaloo soup and mushroom risotto.’
  • 2The plant of the arum family from which callaloo leaves are obtained.

    • ‘Beside a bed of blood-red dahlias, Samantha grows callaloo, a type of spinach popular in the West Indian community and grown from a neighbour's cuttings.’
    • ‘The national dish, ‘oil down,’ is a stew-like concoction made in large quantities with local vegetables such as callalou, dasheen, breadfruit, green fig, and plantain.’
    • ‘Okra and sweet potatoes are important vegetables, and callaloo figures as often as it does in the West Indies.’


Mid 18th century: from American Spanish calalú.