Oil Down Recipe - Grenada's National Dish

Published on December 16th 2021 by Rachael Ottier Hart.
Last updated on April 22nd 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Oil Down Recipe - Grenada's National Dish in a deep pot with spatula

Grenada is known for two things being the Spice Isle and Oil Down. First, the island of Grenada is rich in spices, primarily Nutmeg, which is recognized on its flag and is a significant export and cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla, ginger, and mace. As this is Grenada’s national dish, it is also a testament to its multicultural influences. The dish gets its name from the cooking process where the coconut milk in the dish is cooked down until it’s transformed into coconut cream with a thick layer of coconut oil throughout the dish. However, the ingredients are a mixture of the local indigenous herbs, seasonings, spices, and salted fish together with the colonial influences of breadfruit and Taro (Dasheen). Breadfruit and Taro were brought to the Caribbean as an affordable crop to feed the slaves during colonial times. Grenadian cuisine is, therefore, a reflection of its history, and Oil Down represents that diversity in one pot. 

Other islands like Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana have versions of this dish that highlight their unique local ingredients with their more hot and peppery cooking styles. While breadfruit recipes with coconut milk are found worldwide, there is only one traditional Grenadian Oil Down. This recipe will feature Dasheen, Dumplings, and Turmeric's iconic Grenadian food. However, we will also add some hot and spicy options in Trinidad Oil Down. We are One Caribbean People influenced by each other and enjoying every mouthful along the way.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
60 mins
Total Time
90 mins
Serves
4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo Salted Cod

  • 1 Breadfruit - peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 pound Taro/ Dasheen or Spinach leaves - rough chop

  • 1 liter Coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Herbs, Seasonings & Spices
  • 1 tablespoon Green Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon Roucou

  • 1 large Onion - diced

  • 4 cloves Garlic - minced

  • 6 Seasoning Peppers - minced

  • 2 stalks Celery - diced

  • 3 Green onion - chopped

  • 2 Thyme sprigs, chopped

  • 1 large Carrot - diced

  • 1 tablespoon Ginger - minced

  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric - ground

  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg - ground

Dumplings
Trini Options
  • 1 kilo Salted Pigtail

  • 1-2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper - minced

Instructions

Salt Fish Prep - overnight

Usinglarge bowl add the salted cod and submerged it in water and leave it to rest overnight.

After the overnight soak, use a 3-quart saucepan and add the fish, then fully submerge in water and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes. Strain And discard the water, then wash and rinse the fish and set it aside in a bowl.

Salt Fish Prep - stove top

Place the fish into a 3-quart saucepan, add water until fully submerged, and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the water, and repeat this step two more times.

Using your hands with plastic gloves or a fork, begin to flake the fish removing and discarding any bones you come across as you go. Once all the fish has been flaked, put it aside.

Dumplings

Follow the recipe for Trini dumplings and add them to the pot in step 5.

Oil Down

Using large heavy bottom pot add the oil and bring to medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the herbs, seasonings & spice mixture and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the fish, breadfruit, and taro Leaves, stir using a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine, and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer turn to medium heat and cook for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the dumplings to the pot, continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been cooked down to a thick sauce.

Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Trini Options

Replace the Salted Cod with the Salted pigtail. Follow the Salted Cod Pre instructions to prepare the pigtail, then slice into chunks by cutting into the joint segments of the tail bones. Add to the recipe simultaneously as the fish was added in step 3.

Add the scotch bonnet pepper into the Herbs & Seasonings mixture and follow the recipe accordingly.

Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart

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oil down recipe, Grenada oil down recipe, Trinidad, coconut oil

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Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart