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from Brian Lara’s homeland.

Our Postcards Series is about extending a handshake across cyberspace. Read about it here.

Please accord a warm welcome to our guest contributors. They will try to respond to comments and questions.

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The Prince and his kingdom. Pixs from cricinfo and here.

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If you could only post ten links on your blogroll, which sites would you choose? TriniGourmet.com would make our list for sure. It highlights Trinidadian ‘fusion’ cuisine with some international recipes, while staying kosher, in keeping with its author’s Jewish heritage.

Sarina Nicole, who is half-Trinidadian, half-Jamaican, has a heck of an impressive resume. Besides being an outstanding food blogger, she is also a life coach, and tries to generate awareness about Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Health problems and a car accident have not held this very talented (and attractive) girl back. Wishing you a quick recovery, Sarina.

coolies.jpgImage: Wikipedia
Carribean cuisine has a major Indian influence, and the Trinidad ‘Doubles’ is not unlike the Indian Chole or Chana Batura. Immigrants from India, like these coolies (manual labourers) who arrived in 1897, brought these recipes with them.

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Trinidad Doubles is the ultimate local street food. It’s cheap. Usually hot/warm. Hearty. Filling. The below recipe is for the old skool style of doubles with 2 bara that form a “chickpea sandwich”. These days doubles vendors more often will make one large bara that is then folded over to enclose the curried channa filling. You can see that method in this video! :D

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One large thin bara may be good for speed and profits but let’s not let the 2 bara method die out either, it is after all how doubles got its name! :D Plus it’s cute!

By the way, I’ve seen online several people mentioning that their bara tends to come out like fried bake (bready?) :) So I should let readers know that done right bara should be spongy and pillowy, light and chewy and very flexible/bendable. :D

TRINIDAD DOUBLES
(adapted from a recipe in the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

Bara:
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon gheera (cumin)
½ tsp ground pepper
1 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
¼ tsp sugar
Oil for frying

Filling (Curried Channa):
1 14 oz channa (chickpeas/garbanzo beans), tinned
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tsp ground geera (cumin)
1 tsp Pepper sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

METHOD
1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, curry powder and gheera.
2. In a separate small bowl place the warm water, sugar and yeast and set to sponge for 5 minutes.
3. To the flour, add the yeast mixture and enough water to make a slightly firm dough.
4. Mix well, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 1½ hours.
5. For the filling, heat the oil in a heavy skillet, add onion, garlic and 1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder mixed with ¼ cup water.
6. Saute for a few minutes.
7. Add the channa, stir to coat well and cook for five minutes.
8. Add 1 cup water, gheera, salt and pepper; cover, lower heat and simmer until the peas are very soft (20-30 minutes).
9. When the channa is finished it should be moist and soft.
10. Add pepper sauce and season to taste with additional salt if desired.
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11. For the bara: The dough should be punched down and allowed to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
12. To shape the bara, take 1 tablespoon of the dough and flatten to a round, 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
13. Use oil to moisten palms of your hands so that the dough won’t stick to them. :)
14. Fry the baras in hot oil until puffy (about 15 seconds per side), turn once and drain on kitchen paper
15. When all are cooked, fill with channa by placing a heaping tablespoon of the cooked filling on each bara, covering with another to form a sandwich.

(Post and picture reproduced with permission from here. Do check out the additional pictures, video and tips at that link.)

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Temple in the Sea. Picture from here.

Another popular street food – Pholourie.
TriniGourmet’s Carribean cookbook recommendations.

Cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago.
Map and info on Trinidad and Tobago.
Travel links.
Images from Carnival
2007
.

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8 Comments

  1. Reena says:

    b-j, i love reading your postcard series. hmm… actually everything here:). it is amazing how indian cuisine has influenced so many parts of the world. i was once visited a native indian village here in US and was surprised to see the ladles and spoons they used because those were similar to the ones people in kerala once used to drink ‘kanji’ (made with coconut shell).

  2. Cynthia says:

    Yeah! A postcard from TT! I’ve been seeing the Chole/Chana Batura recipes and am only now making the connection to the Trini doubles (lil slow, what I can tell yuh) :) It is so good to see another Caribbean country featured here on the postcard series. Thanks Bee, Jai & Sarina.

  3. Asha says:

    Cool pics and recipes as well.Good to see all these postcards and about their lives!:)

  4. Vee says:

    ‘Bara’ sounds like a kulcha(A north indian deep-fried bread) doesn’t it? And like many street foods it can be eaten on the go.

    Sarina, I loved your site and not just because it looks so much like mine :D . I have just added myself as one of your RSS subscribers!

  5. Sangeeta says:

    Thanks Bee & Jai … I love these series – so nice to learn about other countries and especially the food :)

  6. musical says:

    Looks like WordPress ate my comment!

    Anyways, just wanted to thank Sarina and both of you, for thsi trip to Trinidad and Tobago. and like other commenters mentioned this one does remind me of chhole-bhature…..its heart-warming to notice similarities between cultures.

    Have a great day!

    not wordpress. yesterday i deactivated akismet and activated spam karma 2. i think that’s the culprit. – b.

  7. Thanks so much for the lovely responses to our local ‘doubles’ :) and thanks to jai and bee for highlighting it :) I am happy to learn about the possible origins for this local favorite and look forward to sharing this info and post with my readers :D

  8. [...] Jugalbandi.info featured TriniGourmet and my Doubles post in its postcard series. Not only did this expose Trini cooking to a whole new audience it also enlightened me to the [...]



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