Pork Colombo Recipe
Pork Colombo
Flavors of Martinique
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Colombo is a spice blend that includes coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard, cloves, fenugreek and pepper. It is available ground, as well as in paste form.

This spice mixture is used to season pork, lamb, goat and chicken and gives its name to the dish it flavors.

The following recipe is traditional, but there are always lots of variations, depending on the region and family preference. One variation involves the addition of eggplant which gives the colombo a very different texture - and an incomparable one, in the view of its proponents. Auntie Maryse adds tomato.

Traditionally colombo is served with white rice and local vegetables: plantain, yam, dasheen or sweet potato. 

For 4-6 servings

- 1 kg pork shoulder, round or cheek
- 1 Tbsp. "graines à roussir" (equal parts fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds)
- 12 g Colombo powder
- 2 Tbsp. roucou oil (or olive oil)
- 200 ml / 3/4 cup water

- juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay rum leaf or bay leaf
- 2 stalks of green onion
- 8 g colombo powder
- pepper
- 100 ml / 2/5 cup water

- 2 carrots
- 1 zucchini
- 1 potato
- 1 Caribbean chili


  1. Cut the pork into 2 cm cubes to provide more surface for the marinade.
  2. In a large bowl, marinate the pork with the finely chopped onion, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, colombo powder, and bay rum leaf crushed betweeen your fingers. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Add 100 ml water and combine well.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.


  1. Peel and chop the carrots into large pieces. Wash and slice the zucchini thickly. Peel the potato and cut into wedges.
  2. Drain the pork. Rub the spices off the meat to prevent the spices and condiments from burning when you sear the meat. Reserve the marinade and spices for the sauce. 
  3. Crush the "graines à roussir" (cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds) in a mortar.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. oil and sauté the seeds for a few seconds to release their flavor into the oil. With a skimmer, remove them and set aside.
  5. Brown the pork cubes on all sides in the flavored oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the onion from the marinade and sauté lightly.
  7. Add the marinade and 200 ml water.
  8. Add all the vegetables: potato, carrot, zucchini and whote chili (do not pierce it), the green onion and colombo powder. Season with salt and simmer for 1 hour over low heat, checking the liquid level occasionally. The pork should be tender and the sauce slightly thickened and with the characteristic ochre color of the colombo and roucou oil. 

Serve with white rice and traditional vegetables (see chef's tips). 

More recipe ideas

 Photo: Martinique gourmande

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