In the UAE it is called “Indian Spinach,” ‘African Spinach,” “Chinese Spinach,” “Cheera,” “Bhajji,” “Kulitis,” “bayambang.” In Jamaica, “Callalo,” Trinidad and Tobago “Bhaji,” Greece, “Vlita.” The popular green vegetable, to which we refer is Amaranth, know by many names and widely used for a variety of culinary and medicinal purposes across the tropics from the Latin Caribbean to Africa, India and Asia.
A quiche is a savoury custard pie which usually has a pastry crust filled with an eggy, custardy base along with meat, cheese, seafood or vegetables. Whereas Spinach Quiche is popular around the world, this is the Jamaican version of this classic. I made this well over a decade ago after dissecting the ingredients from a delectable sample at a cocktail party. Not big into pastry-making then, I opted out of the hassle of making a pie crust and simple baked it without in a pie dish. It was a huge hit. My chef Aunt, Sheryl was so impressed she asked me fro the recipe. The only thing I could remember is that I used 9 whole eggs. And this was during the time when it was widely perceived that egg whites would give you high cholesterol and guarantee heart disease.
Recently we have resumed eating breakfast daily and we like eggs for breakfast but got tired of scrambled eggs and omlettes after about 3 weeks. I often buy the cheaply bundled callaloo in the supermarket and markets here so I decided to finally work on that recipe that Aunty Sheryl asked for in 2002. Aunty Sheryl, better late than never.
This is a great breakfast or brunch dish and because it has no crust is suitable for a variety of special diets like Low Carb, Paleo, Atkins, Gluten Free and is Diabetic-Friendly. If you prefer your quiche with a crust, by all means bake it in one. Whichever method you decide, it’s a great way to enjoy a healthy inexpensive vegetable and other staple pantry ingredients in a way that is quite fancy in presentation but ridiculously easy to execute. You know that is what Chef and Steward is all about!
Crustless Calalloo Quiche
A tasty and budget-friendly quiche on any breakfast or brunch table and suitable for whole family. This recipe is suitable for all diets and is naturally paleo, low carb, ketogenic and diabetic-friendly
- 200 g callaloo washed and finely chopped
- 75 g onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic finely diced
- 7 eggs beaten
- 4 oz milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves only, no stems
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 100 g grated cheddar cheese mild, sharp or vintage as per preference
Preheat oven to 200C
Beat eggs then add milk and melted butter and beat some more
In another bowl, combine other ingredients (except cheese) , allowing the seasonings to coat the leaves of the callaloo/amaranth.
Pour the batter into the vegetable mixture and combine
Grease baking dish with butter
Pour the batter into the dish then cover with grated cheese.
Bake for 35-45 mins until set.
Serve hot. (Makes 4-6 generous servings).
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