Traditional Bajan Recipes

COU-COU-  the national dish of Barbados when eaten with flying fish;loosely based on the middle eastern cous-cous but the okras make the difference!


  • 4 okras thinly sliced
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter

  • Cook the okras in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes.While they are cooking,mix the corn meal and cold water to a smooth paste.
    When the okras are soft, lower the heat, add salt and corn meal mixture, stirring constantly with a "cou-cou stick" (wooden spoon) until the mixture becomes fairly stiff.
    When mixture breaks away cleanly from the side of the saucepan, the cou-cou is ready.
    Butter a bowl, turn the mixture out neatly onto it, shaking it so that it takes on the shape of the bowl. Turn it out on to a serving dish, make an indentation in the top and place a knob of butter in it.

CASSAVA PONE-  another recipe that's fairly common in other cultures but takes on a different taste and texture when done here in Barbados


  • 3 cups fine, dry cassava flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • Rind of half an orange
  • ¼ lb shortening (melted)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups grated coconut

  • Mix the dry ingredients, then add shortening, milk, eggs and essence. Mix well again until the mixture has a solid but not stiff consistency.
    Turn out on to a rectangular baking pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 90 minutes.
    Cut in squares before serving.