Chadon beni sauce is a popular condiment in Trinidad and Tobago.
It is a must-have on Trinidad street food favorites like doubles and bake and shark.
This sauce is so easy to make once you can get your hands on chadon beni.
Here’s how to make this recipe.
What is Chadon Beni
Chadon beni is a strong-smelling, tropical herb that has long, slender leaves with jagged or sawtooth edges.
It is a sharper, more potent version of cilantro.
Actually, the plant is closely related to cilantro, along with cumin and parsley.
Here’s a look at it in my garden.
By the way, bandhanya, shadow benny, culantro (that’s not a mistype!), recao, and Mexican coriander are other names for chadon beni.
Maybe you’ve heard of recaito or Peurto Rican sofrito? Culantro or chadon beni is an important ingredient in the seasoning.
Here in the Caribbean, chadon beni is the main flavoring in many savory dishes. And, it has proven health benefits like being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
To learn more about the health benefits of chadon beni, check out this quick guide.
What is Chadon Beni Sauce
Chadon beni sauce is a popular dipping sauce or condiment used in Trinidad and Tobago. It is often watery with coarsely ground chadon beni leaves and other ingredients.
As a dipping sauce, it is enjoyed with fried treats like pholourie, accra, saheena, and aloo pies.
As a condiment, it is added onto doubles, aloo pie, bake and shark, fries, fried chicken or fish, BBQ, sandwiches, and more.
Chadon Beni Sauce Ingredients
The basic recipe usually contains:
- chadon beni (bandhanya) leaves
- pepper (like scotch bonnet, pimento, or cherry pepper)
- citrus juice like lime juice or lemon juice
There are many variations of this sauce. You can add much more garlic to make a garlic chadon beni sauce, or more pepper, or more lime juice, or add ginger for a ginger chadon beni sauce…
You get the point – add more of what you love.
Eliminate the pepper altogether for a mild, non-spicy sauce.
How to Make Chadon Beni Sauce
This sauce is not cooked so you will want to use washed and cleaned ingredients and utensils.
The undersides of chadon beni leaves usually have dust and dirt so it’s important to wash the leaves thoroughly.
The same goes for the citrus of your choice. I have a rough-skin lemon tree and harvested some recently. So, I used some lemon juice in this sauce (the rest I used to make lemon water).
Wash your choice of pepper. Cut and remove the insides – the seeds and white pith. Those are the main spicy parts of the pepper. I used half of a cherry pepper here.
Blend all ingredients together until smooth: chadon beni leaves, peeled garlic, pepper, juice, salt and water. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce.
Use immediately or bottle and store in the fridge. It should last a week in there. Freeze the sauce if you want it to last longer.
Chadon Beni Sauce Recipe
- 25 medium chadon beni leaves (washed)
- 1 clove garlic (peeled)
- 1 tsp pepper (chopped)
- 2 tsp citrus juice (like lime juice or lemon juice)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp grated ginger* (optional)
- Wash chadon beni leaves properly with warm water.
- Cut pepper (if using fresh pepper) and remove the seeds and white pith.
- Peel garlic.
- Wash the lime or lemon properly. Cut and squeeze the juice.
- Blend all prepped ingredients together.
- Serve immediately or bottle and store in the fridge for 1 week.
Caribbean Green Seasoning
Caribbean green seasoning is a fresh paste made with chadon beni (culantro), garlic, pepper and other seasonings. It is the Caribbean’s flavorful version of chimichurri and pesto.
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