Chadon beni sauce is a tasty, fresh condiment used in Trinidad and Tobago, especially on doubles, bake and shark, and fried snacks.
The sauce is made with chadon beni or culantro leaves and other sharp elements like garlic and pepper. Lime juice is also used to brighten up and preserve the sauce.
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Chadon beni sauce ingredients
For this recipe, you will need:
- chadon beni: also called shadow beni, bandanya, culantro, recao and Mexican coriander. This herb is the main flavoring for almost all savory Trini and Caribbean recipes. It has a similar taste to cilantro, though culantro is much stronger, sharper and more herbaceous.
- garlic: this further adds to the sharpness of the chadon beni leaves.
- pepper: you can use mild peppers like pimento or spicier ones like cherry pepper or scotch bonnet. If you prefer a sauce that is not spicy at all, then leave out the pepper. And for a chadon beni pepper sauce, feel free to bump up the pepper levels.
- citrus: I mostly use lime juice for this sauce but you can use lemon as well. The acid brings out a fresh, bright taste and helps to preserve the sauce. Swap for vinegar if you prefer.
- water: the sauce is usually runny but, if you prefer it thicker, then adjust down the water you add to the blender.
If you don’t live in the Caribbean, chadon beni is tough to find. Usually, Caribbean and Asian supermarkets are the best places to look for the leaves. They may be labelled as Thai parsley, recao or Vietnamese coriander. Of course, you can always find seeds, leaves, and whole plants on Amazon.
If you are confused about the difference between culantro and cilantro, I have an entire article dedicated to explaining their differences.
For this recipe, you will need a blender. Here I am using the nutri-blender attachment from my Ninja kitchen system (which you can find on Amazon).
How to make Trini chadon beni sauce
Prep the ingredients
Step 1: Wash the chadon beni leaves thoroughly, especially the undersides where dirt may accumulate. You can break the leaves apart.
Step 2: Wash and peel the garlic.
Step 3: Wash the peppers and remove the seeds and white pith. Leave the seeds in, if you want the sauce to be spicier.
Step 4: Wash, cut and squeeze the lime for the juice.
Step 4: Add all the prepped ingredients like chadon beni, garlic, pepper and juice to the blender along with the salt and water. If you want a thicker sauce, add less water at this point.
Step 5: Blend the ingredients to combine fully. Use immediately as a dipping sauce or condiment. Otherwise, store in the fridge. It should last for a week or so in there. If you freeze the sauce, it qill last for months.
Chadon beni sauce recipe
Trini Chadon Beni Sauce
- 1 cup chadon beni leaves (about 15 long leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pimento pepper
- 2 tsp lime juice or lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup water
- Wash the chadon beni leaves thoroughly.
- Wash and peel the garlic.
- Wash the pepper. Remove its seeds and white pith (optional).
- Wash, cut and squeeze the lime.
- Add all ingredients to the blender (chadon beni leaves, garlic, pepper, lime juice, salt and water).
- Blend to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate (will last a week) or freeze (will last for months).