Haitian Legim Beregen Melange [stewed eggplant + mixed veggies]

One day, I’ll make a video to help you with the Kreyòl pronunciation of this dish. 

In the meantime, to eliminate confusion, I should clarify that Haitian legim is not the same as legume, meaning beans. When we say legim, we are referring to a delicious stewed mix of vegetables that is so well-balanced and rich in flavor. The version I’m sharing with you is vegan, but I assure you, even a meat lover will enjoy it! 

I particularly love legim with rice and beans [diri kole] - the national dish of Haiti. I also grew up enjoying it with boiled plantain as well as white rice and bean puree [diri blan ak sos pwa]. I’ll provide recipes for these other dishes another time. 

The process of preparing legim does require several steps - each one is creating layers and layers of deep flavor. So don't jump ahead! 

Also, the best time to enjoy legim is on cold nights as it retains heat really well. But any day you need comfort in a bowl - this is perfect! 

Serves: 4

You’ll need:

  • ½ pound eggplant, cut into thin rounds

  • ½ pound cabbage, shredded

  • 1/4 pound string beans, cut in half

  • ½ pound carrots, diced

  • 5 oz fresh spinach

  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves (2 chopped, 2 whole)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 sprigs of thyme

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero)

  • water

  • 2 tsp thisHAITI dry spice blend

  • 1½ tsp salt

  • olive oil


  1. Place a large pan over medium-low heat, add 3 tbsp olive oil. Sauté half of the chopped onions for about 5 minutes or until tender.

  2. Reduce heat to low, stir in tomato paste and dry spice.

  3. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and lightly sauté. Stir in thyme and parsley. Continue stirring for 3 minutes, being careful not to burn garlic. Add a teaspoon of oil if the pan starts to get dry. (In this part of the process, you’ll want to monitor the bottom of the pan, continue adding small amounts of oil to prevent pan from drying out, which may burn out all the delicious layers of flavors you’re creating.)

  4. Bring heat to a simmer, add your veggies layering them accordingly: eggplant, 2 whole cloves of garlic, remaining onions, cabbage, spinach, and scotch bonnet pepper. Keep the pepper whole, do not cut or puncture. 

  5. Add 1½ cups water and raise heat to medium. Cover pot and cook for 40 minutes. You want to cook the vegetables until thoroughly soft (continue to monitor and add water as needed).

  6. After the vegetables have cooked and are tender, REMOVE the pepper and discard*.

  7. Mash the vegetables with a pestle or wooden spoon until the mixture is well blended, but not too mushy. 

  8. Add carrots and string beans, cover and continue cooking for 5 min. You should still have enough liquid in the pot, but if the pan dried out, add 1/4 cup of water to steam carrots and string beans. 

  9. Next, add bell peppers. Cover and bring heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until all liquid is cooked out. Stir everything together until well mixed.

*If you want your dish to have heat, add back in the pepper in step 8 and puncture it with a fork. Keep it in until ready to serve.

Serve with rice or boiled plantain. Bon Appetit! 

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