Haitian Lalo is a mouthwatering, savory, stew made with Jute leaves and spinach. It is the perfect vegan make-ahead meal that’s beyond flavorful!
Our easy recipe for Lalo or jute leaves, prepared in the instant pot, and cooks in about 45 minutes.
Because it is even better the next day or two, it is the meal to have for meatless Mondays. I highly recommend making a big batch to freeze for later!
What are Jute Leaves?
Jute, also refers to as Corchorus olitorius, saluyot, ewedu or of course Lalo in Haiti, are not common to most people but is well known in Asia, parts of Africa, and the Middle East.
The leaves are very flavorful and tender once cooked properly.
Lalo is different from the Caribean Callaloo stew. The leaves that are used to prepare Jamaican Callaloo or Caribbean Callaloo is known as Amaranthus Viridi. Similar to jute leaves, Jamaican Callaloo is similar to spinach but has a stronger flavor.
Jute Leaves Benefits
When the weather outside gets cold and chilly, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a stew or soup heating up in the kitchen.
As the mouth-watering scent from the instant pot fills your home, consider the following benefits jute leaves also contain.
- Vitamin A, C and E
Ingredients used in Making Haitian Lalo?
Jute Leaves: 1 box (7 oz.) Mulukia Leaes. Washed three times to cut down on the bitterness of the leaves.
Spinach: I use 1 bag of spinach. You can use fresh or frozen spinach.
Tomato paste, Garlic, salt and pepper, better than bouillon and Haitian Epis to season the dish.
Oil and water: Use it to sauté the onions first. Then cooked to finished the stew for extra body and richness. You may use olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil. You may also use broth.
Fresh lemon juice: The juice will help provide an acidic flavor to the dish.
Habanero pepper: The pepper will add a subtle heat, and will make all the flavors pop!
Do not squeeze the pepper in the stew as it will make it spicy. The pepper is used as a seasoning base, but it is completely optional.
How To Make The Stew
Haitian Lalo has a reputation for being a labor-intensive dish. But if you don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, this Lalo recipe is simpler than a traditional one, and the results are just as flavorful. Here’s how it goes:
First, sauté the onions and garlic. In a traditional Lalo recipe, you would brown and cook the meat first. However, this vegan version skips this step entirely, but is optional to add if you’d like.
In our recipe, I streamline this process. You’ll sauté the onions and garlic. Cook them for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables soften and the garlic starts to brown.
Add the tomato paste. Stir in the tomato paste. Use a the spoon to breakdown the paste. Add the jute leaves, stir. Next add in the spinach in batches. Add each batch as the spinach starts to wilt.
Once all of the spinach is added, add in the water.
Season the stew. Season with salt, pepper, epis, lemon juice, and better than bouillon vegetable base.
Finally, cook and enjoy! Once all of the ingredients are added. Give it a quick stir. Cover with the instant pot lid. Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes.
Serve over a bed of white rice or rice and beans. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. We like it best on days 2 and 3, as the flavors have had more time to develop.
Lalo Recipe Serving Suggestions
My favorite way to enjoy Lalo as mentioned above is over a bed of white rice. Here are a few more delicious ways to serve it:
- Top it over Mais Moulin (Haitian Cornmeal).
- Spoon it over this air fryer plantains.
- Serve it with Yams.
- Serve with boiled dumplings.
- Serve it with bread.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Jute leaves are best compared to spinach with a slippery texture. Once cooked, it becomes slimy and is also used a thickening agent.
You can purchase jute leaves on amazon, or at most international store. Look for Mulukhiyah Leaves, ewedu leaves, jute mallow, or Corchorus olitorius.
Haitian Lalo will last up to 4 days in an air tight container.
Jute leaves can be very bitter. Washing the jute leaves will cut down on the bitterness of the leaves, and the natural flavor of the leaves will marry well with the spices that are added to create the Lalo dish.
Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
If you love this pressure-cooked Haitian Lalo recipe, try one of these other instant pot dishes next:
- Haitian Legume recipe
- Instant Pot Cabbage Soup recipe
- Instant Pot Cabbage
- Mashed Cauliflower Instant Pot Recipe
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Haitian Lalo Recipe
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Small White Or Yellow Onion Chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 6 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1 Box Mulukia Leaves Or Jute leaves (7 oz.); Washed three times
- 1 Bag Baby Spinach 6 oz.
- 1 Cup Haitian Epis
- 3 Tsp. Kosher Salt Or salt to taste
- 3 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper Or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste
- Juice From 1 Lemon
- 4 Cups Water Vegetable broth will also work
- 1 Habanero Peppers Optional. Leave the pepper whole, or use scotch bonnet pepper.
- Place the jute leaves in a colander and wash the jute leaves 3 times to cut down on the bitterness of the leaves. Set asdie. On the instant pot, click on Sautee and set the time to 30 minutes. Add the olive oil. When heated, add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes; stirring constantly. Then add the tomato paste. Continue to stir to dissolve the paste.
- Alternatively add the jute leaves and spinach, stirring in between each batch. Then add the Epis, salt, ground pepper, Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine.
- Add the water or broth. Then add in the Habanero Pepper; leaving the pepper whole. Click on cancel. Cover the instant pot with the lid. Turn the knob to "sealing" then click on "pressure cook" and adjust the time for 50 minutes. Quick release. Stir. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Then serve warm over white rice and enjoy!