Story by Matt Proom, sharing his love for Plo
Ican’t remember exactly when I had my first taste of St Helenian food but am I glad I did?! We have neighbours who are from St Helena and I have to admit that until I met them I would have assumed St Helena had some connection with St Helens in Merseyside which shows how little I knew about the place!
I have been intrigued about the place ever since, everything from the giant tortoise to the controversial airport, from the unconventional way to get there to the delicious food which I have been very lucky to sample on more than one occasion!
I’ve eaten the food when there’s been a social occasion and it seems to me that St Helenian food and a get together go hand in hand!
Plo is quite frankly delicious especially when accompanied by a dollop of chutney, fish cakes are nice as are the stuffed pepper things (damn I can’t remember there name). Cheese straws always seem to be made in abundance and are so moreish!!!
The showstopper has to be the coconut fingers though, OMG they are amazing and my friends make them perfectly but funnily enough never make enough (I actually don’t think there’s a number that would satisfy ‘enough’).
I think there’s a link between the food and my experience of St Helena culture, both are very welcoming, interesting and make me feel part of something kinda special. My friends are the only people who I feel ok just walking through their front door without knocking because “that’s what we do on the island” similarly Plo is usually served in a big pot as if to say “come, help yourself”. I love how the culture around St Helenian food is so social and that that culture has made its way to a little part of South Bristol. Oh and I’ve gained two awesome friends who happen to make some of the most delicious food!
3 Stories about Plo available
View all stories about Plo
How to make Plo
St Helena Plo
- 450 g Beef (or Chicken/Piece Bacon/Fish (Saints use Tuna, but any meaty Fish works)
- 225 g Rice
- 4 Potatoes (Chopped)
- 1 Onion (Chopped)
- ½ Cabbage (Chopped) Optional
- 2 Carrots (Chopped) Optional
- 2 Pumpkin (Small slices chopped) Optional
- 1 Tomato (Chopped) Optional
- 1 tbsp Medium Curry Powder (Heaped)
- 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- Tomato Sauce (or Tomato Ketchup)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Heat oil and fry Onion until starting to brown.
- Add curry powder, sugar and a dash of tomato sauce. Cook for about a minute.
- Add your choice of Meat. Add enough water to cover the Meat. Simmer until Meat is half cooked and brown on all sides. If making a Fish Plo, it is added later – see step 8. If making a vegetable Plo, just ignore this step.
- Add chopped vegetables. Add sufficient water to cover all ingredients. Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the rice and season to taste with salt and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to taste.
- Cover and bring to the boil and simmer gently until the water has evaporated and the meat and vegetable are all cooked. Be sure to stir regularly to avoid sticking to bottom of the pot. Add more water if necessary.
- If make a Fish Plo, once Rice is about 5 mins from being cooked, stir in the chunks of Fish.
- Plo is done once the Rice is completely cooked. Enjoy while hot. Or its just as tasty the next day as well. Robin likes some mayo with his and Emma-Jane like her’s with Salad Cream.
Share your story about Plo
We would love to hear what made the recipe special for you.
Share and celebrate St Helena cooking with us.