Metemgee, a tasty dish from Guyana, is similar to a hearty meal enjoyed in Caribbean islands such as Grenada and Trinidad, known as oil down. It’s a comforting and filling dish that warms your belly. The flavorful broth, ideally made with homemade coconut milk, gets its richness from salted meats like salt beef or saltfish.

Metemgee is not just a dish; it is a celebration of tradition, uniting families and friends over a meal that’s both familiar and excitingly different. Metemgee truly captures the spirit of Guyanese cuisine, a fusion of influences from Africa, India, Europe, and the Indigenous peoples of the region. It reflects the country’s diverse heritage, offering a wholesome meal that brings people together.

In Guyana, Metemgee is often enjoyed with steamed rice or soft roti bread. The combo of flavorful broth with fluffy rice or the comforting warmth of bread creates a heavenly dining experience.

The Story Behind The Recipe

The name “Metemgee” is quite interesting—it comes from the Guyanese Creole language, where “metem” means “mixed” and “gee” is “food.” So, Metemgee translates to “mixed food” or “food fusion.”

The Metemgee recipe comes from Guyana, a country in South America known for its diverse culture and cuisine. This popular dish has deep roots in Guyanese culinary traditions, influenced by various ethnic groups like Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, and Amerindians.

Metemgee is a comfort food often made for special occasions, family gatherings, or celebrations, bringing people together in a communal experience. The name “Metemgee” is thought to come from the Guyanese Creole language, reflecting the practice of mixing different meats and vegetables in the dish, symbolizing the diversity of Guyanese culture.

Though the exact origins are unclear, Metemgee has become an iconic and beloved part of Guyanese cuisine, showcasing the country’s history and the creativity of its people in crafting hearty, satisfying meals. Today, it’s not only enjoyed in Guyana but also embraced by the Guyanese community worldwide, serving as a delicious connection to their roots.

How to cook Metemgee


  • 1 pound mixed meats (beef or chicken), cut into chunks
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups pumpkin or squash, diced
  • 2 cups diced root vegetables (yam, sweet potato, cassava)
  • 1 cup okra, diced
  • 2 cups green plantain, diced
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 hot pepper, finely chopped (optional)

Step By Step Instructions For Making Metemgee

  1. In a big pot, put in the mixed meats, salted beef, onion, garlic, curry powder, thyme, and hot pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the meats turn brown and the onions become see-through.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Let it come to a boil, and then turn down the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 1 hour to let the flavors blend.
  3. Toss in the diced root vegetables, pumpkin or squash, green plantain, and okra. Mix well. If needed, add more water to make sure the vegetables are covered.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Cover the pot again and let it simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the meats and veggies are soft.
  5. Once the metemgee is done, taste it and adjust the seasoning if you want. You can add more curry powder or spices based on your preference.
  6. Serve the hot metemgee in bowls, making sure each bowl has a good mix of meats and veggies. It’s typically enjoyed with steamed rice or bread on the side.

Tips for making Metemgee

  • Chop the root vegetables into similar-sized pieces to ensure they cook uniformly.
  • Coconut milk is important in Metemgee, giving it a creamy and slightly sweet taste. For the best outcome, use high-quality coconut milk.
  • Use only a small amount of water in metemgee; it should just cover the root vegetables. The goal is not a thin broth but a thick stew-like consistency.
  • Plantains cook faster than the other ground provisions so add them later or take them out as soon as they are fork tender.

Flavourful substitute

  • Root vegetable: Choose any combination of ground provisions or root vegetables you like for metemgee. Options like white sweet potatoes, taro, or pumpkins work well.
  • Meat: For meats, feel free to replace the mixed meats in the recipe with your favorite protein, such as chicken, beef, or lamb. Adjust the cooking times based on your chosen meat.
  • Coconut milk: If coconut milk is not available, you can use coconut cream or a mix of cow’s milk and coconut extract as a substitute. Just be aware that these alternatives may slightly change the texture and taste.

Serving suggestions

  • Duff (steamed dumplings): Sometimes, duff is made separately from metemgee, but it’s usually served together.
  • Steamed Rice: The traditional side for metemgee is steamed rice. Its neutral taste allows you to fully appreciate the rich and aromatic flavors of the dish. Serve a scoop of steamed rice alongside the metemgee in each bowl.
  • Fish: Fried fish is the most common topping for metemgee, but you can also enjoy it with steamed fish or salt fish.
  • Roti Bread: Soft roti bread is another popular option to enjoy with metemgee. You can make your own or buy it from a store.


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