Caribbean recipes from Andi Oliver's debut cookbook The Pepperpot Diaries
The soulful cooking of Antigua and the Caribbean is the source of inspiration for Andi Oliver's first cookbook. From rich curry goat to vibrant coconut and lime cheesecake, these recipes are perfect for summer
For Andi Oliver, musician, chef, TV host and founder of Wadadli Kitchen, the ingredients she uses tell a swirling story of the cultural influences, history and rich heritage that have shaped traditional and contemporary Caribbean cooking – a cuisine with influences from as far as India, Spain, the Americas, Africa, China, Portugal, Britain, France, and from the indigenous inhabitants from the Taino and the Arawaks to the Caribs.
The Pepperpot Diaries is Oliver’s long-awaited debut cookbook, incepted when she was stranded in Antigua during the pandemic. It brings together recipes, diary entries and photography taken during her travels, and explores a journey of reconnecting with the food she grew up eating and the flavours in her heart and soul.
From quick stews and fragrant curries to magnificent sharing dishes, the book is a goldmine of Oliver’s fuss-free recipes that teach you how to cook up vibrant Antiguan and Caribbean flavours with confidence.
Andi Oliver's orange, ginger and chilli aubergine
Sweet, spicy, crispy and luscious, this vegan dish benefits from the richness and tenderness of aubergine and a sauce singing with flavour
Orange, ginger and chilli aubergine
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
The humble aubergine's hearty, rich and tender qualities make it a wonderfully versatile vegetable and a perfect substitute for meat in Caribbean cooking – none more so than in this delicious recipe.
"At Wadadli Kitchen, we came up with this while searching for a way that vegans could enjoy the flavours of our chicken wings," says Oliver.
"These aubergine pieces are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and drenched in that syrup," she continues. "The syrup recipe makes more than you’ll need, but leftovers are delicious for grilling, marinating, or glazing anything you like."
3 aubergines, each cut into 8 large cubes
Neutral oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the coating:
200g potato starch
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the orange, ginger and chilli syrup:
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 scotch bonnet chilli, bashed
1 long red chilli, bashed
10g dried chilli flakes
120g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
400g granulated sugar
2 star anise
2 tsp green cardamom pods
Large handful of chopped coriander
Grated zest of ½ orange
To make the syrup, add all the syrup ingredients to a medium saucepan along with 1 litre water and bring to the boil. Reduce until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once done, leave to cool and then pass through a sieve. Set aside.
Stir together the coating ingredients in a bowl, then toss the aubergine pieces in the mixture until they are evenly coated all over.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan to 180°C. To test whether the oil is hot enough, drop in a cube of white bread. If it bubbles straight away and goes golden, then the oil is ready for frying.
Fry the aubergine pieces in batches until they are crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil. Continue until they are all cooked.
Toss the fried aubergine in half of the orange, ginger, and chilli syrup (keeping the rest in a sealed container in the fridge for other recipes) and serve it up.
Finish with a sprinkling of chopped coriander and extra grated orange zest.
Andi Oliver's chocolate curry goat
This quintessential Caribbean recipe is enriched with bittersweet chocolate, for an exquisite main dish that’s perfect for dinner parties
Chocolate curry goat
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 3-4 hours
Curry goat is the holy grail of Caribbean cuisine – a legendary dish which slowly cooks goat until it falls off the bone in a warming curry stew spiked with cardamom, star anise and cinnamon. Typically it’s served with rice and peas, plain white rice or roti, but Oliver also loves it tumbled over crisp fries as it would be served at Wadadli Kitchen.
"This might well be the recipe I’ve been preoccupied with the longest in my life and that really is saying something. Curry goat is an iconic Caribbean dish, of course, and everyone has their own take on it. After years of feeding the family and getting their verdict on it, this is the Oliver/Cherry family all time favourite version!" says Oliver.
"And yes, it’s got chocolate in it! I took the inspiration from a Mexican mole, and found that the rich dark bitterness of 70% and above chocolate was the perfect way to finish my curry goat".
Neutral oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower oil, for frying
300g onion, blitzed in a food processor
70g garlic cloves, blitzed in a food processor
10g black cardamom pods
10g green cardamom pods
10g star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp whole cloves
20g ground cumin
20g ground coriander
2 scotch bonnet chillies, finely chopped
100ml molasses (or use treacle or carob molasses)
1kg chopped goat or mutton, preferably on the bone
2 sprigs of thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
2 litres lamb or beef stock
Splash of red wine
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
80g 70% dark (bittersweet) chocolate
1½ tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of chopped coriander
Handful of chopped spring onions
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
Add a splash of oil to a large, heavybased saucepan or casserole dish and set over a low-medium heat. Chuck in the blitzed onions and garlic and let them sweat for a few minutes until slightly softened. Add the whole spices and fry for 5 minutes. Pour a little more oil into the pan, then add the ground spices and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add the Scotch bonnets, molasses, meat, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and a little more oil again. Turn up the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes until the meat is brown and caramelised, stirring intermittently.
Add the stock, red wine, and tomatoes to the pan so that the liquid just covers the meat.
Turn the heat back down to low and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender, adding a little more stock if the liquid level starts to get too low. After the first 1/2 hours of cooking time, check the seasoning and add some salt and pepper to taste.
When the meat is tender, check the seasoning again and adjust if needed. Add the chocolate and let it melt into the curry. Simmer gently for a final 20 minutes, then add the butter and stir through before serving.
Serve garnished with a handful of chopped coriander spring onions and flat-leaf parsley.
Andi Oliver's lemon and garlic dressed callaloo
A perfect side made with sautéed spring and summer greens, this dish is a great match for barbecue, braised dishes or even just as a snack
Lemon and garlic dressed callaloo
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Callaloo is a glorious bowl of earthy, iron-y greens that takes many variations throughout the Caribbean and its diaspora. This version champions British leafy greens like chard and kale and douses them in an enlivening garlic and lemon dressing. It's the perfect vibrant side to any dinner.
"Callaloo actually is a special leaf, but it’s often used as a catch-all term for spinach-y, kale-y, fabulous greens," says Oliver. "I adore callaloo, especially this citrussy-dressed version. Take this recipe as a starting point and try dressing it with all your favourite things."
Splash of rapeseed oil
½ large bunch of rainbow chard, stalks chopped and leaves roughly shredded
½ large bunch of kale, leaves stripped from the stalks and roughly torn
1 large bunch of callaloo, chopped (or use a couple of handfuls of shredded spring greens or cabbage)
For the dressing:
130ml rapeseed oil
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp English mustard
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a heavy-based wok over a medium heat. Add the chopped chard stalks first and sauté for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
Add the kale and sauté for a further few minutes. Add the callaloo, spring greens or cabbage and sauté again for 1-2 minutes.
Lastly, add the chard leaves and sauté until wilted. Use tongs to thoroughly mix all the greens together. Remove from the wok, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, blitz together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic in a small food processor (alternatively, you can just finely grate the garlic into a bowl and whisk in the rest of the ingredients). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the greens and mix it through using tongs. Serve at room temperature.
Andi Oliver's coconut and lime cheesecake
This tart combines white chocolate and zingy lime with fresh and dried coconut, for a deceptively simple dessert that’s easy to prepare in advance
Coconut and lime cheesecake
Preparation time 30
This cheesecake sits triumphantly as the centrepiece of any dinner party and is deceptively easy to make. It’s got a bit of everything: crunchy ginger biscuit base, light and sharp coconut lime filling and a crispy coconut topping.
"The first sweet things I ever made were cheesecakes – they provide endless opportunities to explore flavour and are easy peasy!" says Oliver.
"This particular iteration brings together the creaminess of white chocolate with toasty coconut and vibrant lime to sublime effect. Not too sweet, jussst right."
For the base:
100g gingernut biscuits (such as ginger snaps)
100g oat biscuits, such as Hobnobs
50g desiccated coconut
120g melted unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
280g full-fat cream cheese
4 tbsp coconut condensed milk
200ml coconut milk
150ml double cream
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
100g white chocolate, melted
For the topping:
1 fresh coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 fresh mango, peeled, cored, and diced
22-24cm fluted tart tin, base lined with baking parchment
Put all the biscuits (ginger snaps and Hobnobs) in a sealable food bag and bash them up to fine crumbs using a rolling pin or similar.
Tip the crumbs into a bowl and mix with the toasted coconut, melted butter, and salt. Press into the bottom and sides of the tart tin and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.
Combine all the filling ingredients, apart from the chocolate, in a large mixing bowl. Beat together using an electric hand whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Mix through the melted white chocolate. Spoon the filling on top of the set base and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge until set (do note that this cheesecake has quite a soft-set finish).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
Crack open the fresh coconut and peel off flakes of the flesh using a vegetable peeler. You want about 2 handfuls in total. Toss the flakes in the maple syrup and half of the lime zest on a baking tray, then toast in the preheated oven for around 10 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool, then top the cheesecake with the toasted coconut.
Mix together the diced mango and remaining lime zest and serve a little spoon of this alongside slices of cheesecake, or pile it on top of the cheesecake as well.
Get the book
The Pepperpot Diaries by Andi Oliver is published by Dorling Kindersley (£27); available to buy here