Barracuda soup with bajan dumplings {recipe}

So, as it’s a fresh new month, I decided to share a new recipe (with a l’il video clip) with you: this one’s for a soup I made a couple times over the weekend, to kick-box a cold that somehow managed to tip-toe into my life.

This soup is more on the watery side; different from the thick lentil soup with sweet potato and dumplings I made last week. Your appetite (and ‘taste buds’) tend to decrease significantly when you’ve got a cold, so the more easy to digest and spicy, the better. This one actually had dumplings in it, so I added extra water so the flour used to make them wasn’t the focus point.

Feel free to leave out the dumplings (or try some using cassava flour) if you’re gonna make this at a time when you’re not feeling too well. Something fabulous and savory like breadfruit is a delicious substitute for dumplings – actually, that’s my preference. Breadfruit is sooooo delicious, versatile and healthy.

img_3457Thankfully, along with bowl of this fish dish (twice daily), I incorporated my key essential oils in rubs and house cleaning, drank a small lake’s worth in water 💧 and lime tea, and now am feeling refreshed and well on the road to recovery. I’d almost forgotten how horrendous the cold or flu can be (haven’t had one in yearrrs), and am actually a bit grateful that this one came along. After all, it gave me an opportunity to 1) rest a bit as prep for an upcoming musical event 2) try out two new oils and 3) come up with this recipe. 

Barracuda is a very soft fish, so this is a quick-to-make dish once you pre-season. It has a Trini twang to it too, since I used lots of curry spices (yummm.)



2 decent pinches of salt

decent pinch of each of these: black pepper, paprika, turmeric, curry, geera, garam masala

1/4 sliced onion

fresh herbs (marjoram, basil, parsley)

1/2 finely-diced scotch bonnet pepper (or other spicy pepper of your choice)

2 pods finely-diced garlic (to add and stir in at the end)


1 level tbsp sugar 



Fish prep:

Lime n’ salt, let sit for a bit, then wash, then slightly salt and season fish – you can use either a store-bought seasoning or make your own, using fresh herbs, onions, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, hint of vinegar, and a tiny bit of sugar or preferred sweetener. Best to let the fish marinate for extra flavour.

Dumpling prep:

Add flour and sugar to a bowl. Slowwwly stir in room-temperature water to make a pliable texture. I use my hands, but a spoon can work too. Don’t stir or mix – just gently swipe the water left and right so it gets to most – not all – of the flour. Add more flour if needed as you shape and round the dumplings. Your hands aren’t meant to be gluey though a little flour will still stick on.


Set water to boil in a pot, at low-to-medium heat. Add salt. When water starts to bubble, add spices, fresh herbs, diced scotch bonnet pepper, and onion. Stir for 30 seconds then add pieces of barracuda-on-the-bone. If what you have is boneless, make sure to hold one edge of the skin, and peel away the actual fish from the flubbery skin.

Stir soup from time to time (on low-to-medium heat as fish cooks fast and can get tough when over-done. Some of the fish will naturally ease off the bone.) Taste and add more water if necessary. After 5 minutes, add flour-sprinkled dumplings and lightly swoosh around the pot, so each of them sits well in the water and pieces of fish are turned to boil evenly.

Boil (without stirring) for 3-5 minutes. Test dumplings by scooping one up in a spoon and slicing in half with a knife to make sure it’s ready. Turn off stove, add raw diced garlic, stir soup, and remove from heat.


recipe by: Indra

Posted by

Hi sweet sis, your life has a purpose way beyond your to-do list. Joyful Life|Creative Calling shares content steps for the creatively-inclined and refreshment tips for everyday life. If you're called to reset the quality, pace and volume of your life for the better, there's lots of inspiration here. Join the journey for gentle reminders with Indra, a songwriter, singer, typographer and homecook from Barbados. As a teen, she almost gave up on life. Now as a woman saved by grace, she lives with purpose, writing, editing, walking, homecooking and recording while encouraging the overwhelmed. Subscribe for firsthand updates on new posts, guest features and tropical recipes along the way.

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