Rastafarians are created to this term, "Ital Cooking." Ital means, "vital." Ital cooking is way of preparing and cooking food that is consistent with Rastafarian beliefs and practices. This generally mans not using salt, meat (no pork-similar to the Muslim faith), colorings or anything artificial.
The 'Ital' diet of I-n-I, the brethren of Rastafari, is essentially a vegetarian one. Rasta do not eat the flesh of dead animals... The breath of life is JAH's gift to give and only his to take. Preservatives, artificial additives and things of this 'un-nature' are avoided for good reason (.
Generally Rastas diet consist of fish, and dried fish, but not usually not too much shellfish. I remember visiting a Rasta house in the country, (Portland). This was way back in the bush. One of the main ingredients that most Rastas use is Coconut. The milk is extracted from the grated coconuts. This is often served as rundown and other ingredients like pepper (Scotch Bonnet), Pimento (allspice), Fresh garlic, onions, scallions, green peppers, tomatoes..and more.
Below is and example of some Ital Dishes
Red Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons Roasted-Garlic Puree (see companion recipe on site)
- 3 cups canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry rub jerk seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground habanero chile powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- pinch, ground allspice
- 1/2 cup Tasso ham, small diced
- 1/2 cup shredded pickled pork or shredded smoked pork shoulder butt,
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch (mixed with 5 teaspoons water)
Serves / Yields
Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic puree and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the beans and 1 cup of the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes.
Carefully transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. (Place a folded dish towel over the top of the blender to prevent hot liquid from splashing out.) Return the puree to the saucepan.
Add the remaining stock, jerk seasoning, salt, pepper, habanero chile powder, coriander, and allspice; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the ham and pork and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, mixing thoroughly, and heat through. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and simmer for 1 minute.
ITAL COOKING VIDEO