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Nardia’s Trini Green Seasoning

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Add some Trinidadian spice to your life.

This authentic Trini green seasoning recipe is delicious, fresh, and just the right amount of spicy. A Caribbean staple that goes with everything.

Trini Green Seasoning Recipe: Authentic Caribbean Seasoning

Nardia’s Authentic Green Seasoning Recipe from Trinidad

I was not familiar with Trinidadian — or Trini — food before talking to professional ballet dancer (and fabulous home cook) Nardia Boodoo. Better late than never. This Trini Green Seasoning recipe is delicious, fresh, and just the right amount of spicy.

The Washington Ballet company member started cooking as a little girl, starting with simple things like instant ramen and eggs. Her father, a professional chef, graduated her to more advanced dishes. These days, Nardia makes everything from braised short ribs to eight-hour Italian ragù. And yet, her Trini roots are never far from her thoughts, or kitchen.

You’ll also like: Interview: Model and Dancer Nardia Boodoo and Coconut Rice With Fresh Ginger

Trini Green Seasoning Recipe: Authentic Caribbean Seasoning

What Is Green Seasoning? What Is It Used For?

Homemade Caribbean green seasoning (specifically, Trinidadian in this case) is a versatile, incredibly nutritious condiment.

Made from a blend of ingredients like vinegar, salt, lime, ginger, celery, green bell pepper, scallions, hot pepper, and more, Trini green seasoning can be used as a marinade or topping for many dishes, like meat, vegetables, and rice.

Trini Green Seasoning Recipe: Authentic Caribbean Seasoning

What Is Green Seasoning Made From?

In interviewing her for her recent Unpeeled profile, Nardia talked about her family’s green seasoning recipe. Green seasoning is ubiquitous in Trinidad. “Everything you make in Trinidad gets touched with that,” says Nardia. It is a condiment, a sauce, a marinade, and Trini food’s all-around best bud.

This spicy green seasoning from Trinidad deserves to be your food’s best friend, too. Made from a blend of incredibly fresh flavors — lime, ginger, celery, green pepper, scallions, hot pepper, and more — green seasoning makes everything taste good. I could probably eat it straight from a bowl like a spicy green gazpacho.

This most special family recipe has been passed down from Nardia’s great-grandmom to her grandmom to her father and then to her. And now to us. Truly a big honor. 

Caribbean Green Seasoning used as chicken marinade for the grill

How Long Does Green Seasoning Last?

Green seasoning will be good for about 5 days in the fridge.

This recipe makes a lot, so feel free to freeze some or make a half batch. Green seasoning will last in the freezer for several months. Defrost in the fridge, and stir to re-emulsify.

How Do I Use Trini Green Seasoning?

Green seasoning can be used as a condiment, marinade, or both. It’s great to put out on the table, and can be used to spice and freshen up all kinds of dishes.

I love to use green seasoning as a marinade for chicken, which I then charbroil in the oven or grill, then top the chicken with more green seasoning.

Nardia also recommends her green seasoning recipe for lamb, beef, shrimp, and fish.

Trini Green Seasoning: Recipe Notes and Tips

  • This Trini green seasoning recipe makes a big batch, but can easily be halved or frozen
  • The recipe calls for a whole habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper. Those peppers bring some serious heat, so feel free to use as much or as little as you like.
  • If you are having trouble blending the sauce, loosen it with a bit more vinegar or lime juice
ballerina nardia boodoo in kitchen
Nardia Boodoo / Photo by Rashad Wolf
grilled chicken with green sauce and limes

Nardia's Trini Green Seasoning

A generations-old family recipe for authentic Trinidadian green seasoning sauce you can put on just about everything. The best way to bring some Caribbean to your kitchen.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Course: sauce
Cuisine: caribbean, trinidadian
Keywords:: caribbean green seasoning, cilantro, green seasoning, hot pepper, sauce, scallion, trini green seasoning recipe
Servings: 3 cups
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Ingredients

  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled into cloves
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (preferably the tops, including leaves)
  • 1 1" piece fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro or culantro
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/2 bunch fresh oregano or Spanish thyme, leaves only
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from about 4 limes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste (you may want to add closer to 2 teaspoons)

Instructions

  • Put the chopped celery, onion, bell pepper, ginger, garlic cloves, lime juice, and 1/8 cup of white vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and all other ingredients. Blend, adding more vinegar as needed to loosen the sauce. Taste for seasoning.
    TIP: You don't have to go for the whole Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. If you prefer steam not to come out of your ears, just add the pepper by quarters until you reach your level of spice. But if you do decide to go for it, use the whole pepper, including the seeds.
  • Serve as a condiment or sauce, or use as a marinade for meat or seafood.

Notes

Nardia says that this Caribbean green seasoning will keep in the fridge for several weeks, but I tend to play it on the safe side and use it within one week. Trini green seasoning also freezes well.

10 comments

  • Because of the vinegar n spices it will keepfor week

  • 5 stars
    At my parents house in Tobago and just picked the thyme (small and big leaf) and the shado beni. Followed your recipe and it is yummy! Having it with rotis.

  • In the write up it says it will keep for 5 days but in the tips it says can keep for weeks in the fridge. Which one is correct? Thank you!

  • 5 stars
    Very fresh and spicy.

  • 5 stars
    This is the second time I’ve made this. Thank you! My boyfriend puts it on everything. He is from Trinidad.

  • Rachelle T.

    5 stars
    This recipe is easy and really fresh. I make a big batch and put it on everything throughout the week.

  • 5 stars
    Spicy and fresh. Super authentic!!!

  • 5 stars
    What a great recipe, thank you for sharing this family treasure !

  • Meredith

    5 stars
    I went to Trinidad for vacation a few years ago and loved this. This is the real deal. Also loved the interview!!!

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