I must admit that Sada roti was not my favorite growing up but soon became a sort after breakfast dish while I was at university and started my work career. It is a local Indo-Trinidadian flat bread eaten with many breakfast vegetables. I remember growing up as a child, my parents always made this to eat as part of breakfast or at dinner but now this is a dying tradition for many reasons. Young people nowadays don’t have a clue about how to make this and as a result it has become a commercial dish with many small breakfast places …
Ponche De Crème is one of my favorite Christmas drinks. It is so delicious with the unexpected alcohol in the “creme” with the flavors of the nutmeg and the bitters. The first Christmas I was allowed to drink this, I instantly fell in love! I went over to my friends house one day during the season and saw her mom preparing this drink. I immediately asked her to teach me how to make it and voilà! Each and every Christmas now I make this drink. It is a staple of a Trinibagonian Christmas as eggnog is of an American Christmas.
Many persons make this drink in many different ways; some with more alcohol and some with less milk. Sampling Ponche De Crème from different households is a real treat as many of the older folks use more of an average to make this drink so the alcohol and milk ratio usually hits you unexpectedly if you do not expect a lot of sweetness or a lot of alcohol. I have come up with this measure over the years and I believe it is a good balance to all of the flavors. The …
Curried goat is really an amazing dish that is native to Trinidad and Tobago and some other Caribbean islands such and Grenada, Jamaica, and some parts of the UK. It is cooked in a variety of ways throughout the region but still called curried goat. It is one of my favorite curried meats to eat, especially on special occasions since goat is not an everyday commodity. On any given Saturday morning here in Trinidad and Tobago, it is very common to see butchers set up in their meat sheds alongside the road selling all types of meats, goat being a popular one of them. On a Sunday morning at the markets in various areas around the country many people flock to get their fresh meats. It is quite a sight to see, where orders are non-stop for the vendors. This curried goat recipe is made in this very simple way that makes your taste buds do cart wheels! This meat is also healthier than the average red meat as it is really lean, however, any type of meat can be used and will still be equally delicious. Growing up my parents and relatives would make this dish if they were having family get-togethers, parties, weddings or some type of special occasion. It is best eaten with paratha or dhalpuri roti in Trinidad and Tobago with a serving of curried channa (garbanzo beans) with potato (aloo) and pumpkin. I guarantee that you will lick your fingers after you eat this! Although the meat takes a while to get soft if cooking in a regular pot, it is well worth the wait if you do not have a pressure cooker! So go ahead and enjoy this amazing recipe! I sure did!
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Yields: 6-8 servings
3lbs cubed goat meat
1/3 cup white vinegar
11/2 medium onions
1 medium head garlic
6 chive stalks
1 large scotch bonnet pepper
5-7 shado beni/ culantro leaves
2 sprigs French/ fine thyme
5-6 celery leaves
3/4 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric/ saffron powder
1/4 cup water plus 8-10 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
Begin by washing the goat meat with water and then with the vinegar. Rinse with water again and set aside to drain. Clean and wash the garlic, onion, chive, pepper, thyme, cilantro and celery leaves. Chop everything in a chopper very finely. This should amount to approximately 1 1/2 cups green seasoning. In a bowl, add the goat meat, salt, black pepper and the green seasoning and mix. Let marinate for 15- 30 minutes. In a pot on medium heat, add oil. In the meanwhile, mix the curry powder with the turmeric powder in 1/4 cup water. When the oil is hot, throw in the curry mixture and let fry till all the water has evaporated and it begins to stick. Add the seasoned meat and turn to coat all the meat in the fried mixture. Let meat fry for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid in the pot has evaporated and the meat begins to stick. Add the 4 cups boiling water just to barely cover the meat. Turn and cover the pot. Check at 10-15 minute intervals. When water boils down, repeat the process by adding the remaining boiling water just to cover the meat, stir and cover. Check the tenderness of the meat when the water boils down and the sauce gets thicker. Once the meat is tender and there is enough sauce, turn off the stove. If not, repeat the process once more by adding more boiling water and it should be tender.
Note: After frying the meat, you can put it into the pressure cooker and cook with water until meat is soft. This will drastically reduce cooking time.
As this delicious fruit called Passion fruit started coming into season in Trinidad and Tobago a few months ago, I said to myself I have to get my hands on some! This proved to be very futile but as luck would have it, I got my hands on some after randomly speaking to my boss at work where I learned he had a tree. I was so happy, but now I had to wait on the tree to bear the fruit! Thankfully he remembered me and gave me a few! When I see this fruit, it reminds me about when I was a little girl, and my elder brother Stevie would pick this fruit from the humongous vine we had growing on our fence, and he would make this juice for the entire family! I would drink and enjoy it! This is the first time I have ever made this juice by myself, without my brother or my mom there to help. It is from my bare memory of both him and our mom making it that I made it! Thankfully, the result was Gourmet Girl Next Door worthy! So I hope you get your hands on some Passion Fruits and make this delicious recipe! Cheers!
Passion fruit juice
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yields 5 cups
5-7 medium sized passion fruits
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 cups water
Cut the fruits in half and scoop out the seeds into a deep jug. Using a swizzle stick or a whisk, beat the seeds as if beating eggs, so that the pulp from the seeds release their juice. Add in sugar and continue to beat a bit. Add water and make sure to mix until all the sugar dissolves. After everything is incorporated, strain the juice to get seeds out. Pour into a glass with ice cubes and enjoy!
This type of seasoning is characteristic to Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean, not to mention, my kitchen! Each household has their own recipe and different combinations of herbs they put together to form this highly aromatic base staple called the “green seasoning”. The herbs are a bit similar to some of the seasonings used in some Latin American countries such as Mexico and Venezuela. This is where all of the flavors start with many people from both Trinidad and Tobago as well as the wider Caribbean. When preparing chicken for stewing, currying goat, currying vegetables, barbecuing pork/ chicken/ lamb, or any type of meat, this is what gives it the blow your mind away flavor that is very characteristic to Caribbean cooking. Many of my local Trinidad and Tobago recipes such as stewed chicken, curried shrimp, fried chicken, curried channa, baked pork, curried crab, etc. all have green seasoning as the main flavor which aids in really bringing out the respective flavors of the meat or vegetables. Once you try this recipe for green seasoning in your food, I assure you that you would not be disappointed!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yields approximately 2-3 cups
1 fresh bundle chives/scallions
1 large sized onion
1 head garlic or 8 cloves garlic
1 sprig French / fine thyme
8 medium sized leaves Spanish thyme/ broad leaf thyme/ Cuban oregano/ big leaf oregano
4 pimentos or 1 scotch bonnet pepper
4 leaves shado beni/ culantro/ bandhania
1 sprig cilantro or celery or parsley (optional)
2 tbsp white vinegar (optional if storing in the refrigerator)
Clean and wash everything thoroughly. Pat dry and cut everything into medium to small size pieces. In a mini chopper, add a little at a time and chop finely or in a blender, add 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar and blend everything together. When finished chopping everything in the chopper, mix in a bowl thoroughly. Now it is ready to season your meats or other foods.