Ital Stew

Ital stew is a vegetarian dish aligned with the Rastafarian movement, focusing on unprocessed foods and simple, delicate flavors. Slideshow: Hearty Stew Recipes 

Ital Stew
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3 green onions, bottoms removed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cups 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)

  • 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, chopped


  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.

  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.

  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.

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