A Taste of Harmony Day - Jamaica

03 Oct 2022


A Taste of Harmony Day - Jamaica

Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace

To celebrate diversity in the workplace at Pathways to Care, we hosted ‘A Taste of Harmony Lunch’ at work on March 22nd. Emma, our Marketing Manager brought some colourful flavours from Jamaica. We asked Emma what her dish means to her.

I am making beef patties from Jamaica. I was incredibly lucky to live there for two and a half years when I was younger. My dad got a job over there so the whole family moved over. I was eight years old when we left, so young but it very much has had a lasting impression on me. 

Is this a staple dish for people of that country? 

Yes! You see them a lot being sold along the side of the road, at a relatively cheap price, so they are a very cost-effective lunch for many people. 

What ingredients/elements are important culturally for people from your country of focus? 

The spices that are in beef patties can be found in many other dishes! Turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, cardamon and cinnamon make up the base of lots of curry dishes. 

Who taught you how to make the dish/who made it for you? 

I taught myself! We are lucky to have a few traditional Jamaican cookbooks so from those I am honing my patties. It is such a strong memory of mine, hoeing into a hot, flaky pattie, I wanted to have that delicious taste again. I have been unable to find the perfect one in Australia (lucky to find any to be honest) so my only option was to make them. 

Tell me a bit about the recipe? Are there any tricks to it you have found over the years? 

The recipe is quite simple! My mum who hates cooking couldn’t believe I was trying to make them. I am yet to perfect the pastry; I can’t get it as flaky and delicious as the original but I am getting closer. I have found as well that the recipe calls for a lot of breadcrumbs, which comes down to why they are a cheap option for so many, lots of breadcrumbs to fill out the pattie and so less beef and expense involved. I prefer to have less of the breadcrumbs as this was making mine the wrong texture. 

Who would you normally make it with/eat it with? What memories does it bring you back to? 

I eat them with family, to relive the memories of when we were younger. I love nothing more than how taste and smell can transport you to a particular time in the past. They remind me of lunch order days at school, they remind me of sitting in the car as a family on our way to or home from an adventure, they just remind me of such happiness and joy. 

What do you love about gathering and sharing food together?

Food is the ultimate in my mind. It brings people together, and so many of our holidays revolve around food. Not coming from a religious background, most religious holidays are more food holidays for my family, getting together, eating until you feel sick, making food that makes people smile and enjoying people’s company.


Curry powder:

100g coriander seeds, roasted or ground 100g ground ginger

100g ground black pepper

25g ground cardamom

25g ground cinnamon

100g ground turmeric

100g ground fenugreek

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. NOTE: makes plenty more than you need


 4 cups of flour

1 tablespoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of shortening or margarine

Iced water


1. Sieve the flour, curry powder and salt

2. Work in the shortening or margarine, adding enough ice water to hold the dough together

3. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight

4. Take out 15 minutes before using, cut into balls, roll out to 10cm in diameter, sprinkle some flour on each and cover with a tea towel


2 onions

3 spring onion stalks

2 hot peppers, scotch bonnets if possible, seeds removed

1kg of beef mince

1/3 cup of oil

500g breadcrumbs (I would only put in 100g if that)

2 tablespoons of curry powder

1 cup water


Black pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius

2. Chop finely the onion, spring onion, and peppers and add to the mince and mix well

3. Heat oil in frying pan and cook mince mixture until cooked

4. Add in breadcrumbs (as little or as much as you see fit), curry powder, salt, and pepper to taste, mix well

5. Add water

6. Cover and simmer for roughly 30 minutes, it should be moist, neither runny nor dry

7. Leave to cool

8. Place enough filling in each circle of pastry to cover half of it, fold the other half over, and seal the edges with a fork

9. Bake the patties on ungreased baking trays in over for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown

--Makes approximately 24

Find out more about Taste of Harmony Day falling between the 14th - 25th March, 2022. A Taste of Harmony is an opportunity to celebrate your workplace’s cultural diversity.