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TRINIDADIAN DOUBLES

VIBES: Banks – Drowning

Sometimes you need to step out of your cooking comfort zones. This was one of those times. Chick Pea curry, no problem. But the fried-bread-pita-wrap-up-thingy was a challenge. Bara, as they call them in Trinidad. I first had these at Ali’s in Bed Stuy and i was instantly hooked. If you’re not ambitious enough to make the Bara, just grab some store bought pita or naan. Really this chick pea curry would go well with anything, kale salad, arugula, sautéed greens, quinoa, rice, etc. Traditionally you would pair it with a hot pepper sauce, and some mango or tamarind chutneys. I chose something different and made a quick pickled cucumber slaw. Delightful.

TRINIDAD DOUBLES (Adapted from this recipe.)

Channa (Chick Pea Curry)
-2 cups chick peas (garbanzo beans, channa)
-3 cups water
-2 tbsp. oil
-1 tsp. curry
-1 tsp. tumeric
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. garam masala
-1/2 tsp dried coriander
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
-1/2 onion, chopped finely
-5 leaves chadon beni, chopped finely (Cilantro is a fine substitute)
-juice of 1 lemon
-splash of vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste

Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the spices in 1/4 cup water, add to pot. Let spices cook for 1 min until fragrant, add garlic and onion. Saute until golden. Just before curry gets dry, add the chick peas, cover them fully with with water. (About 2-3 cups) Simmer for about 1 hour, add a bit more water if it cooks down too much. It should be a thick stew by the time its reduced. The beans should be tender, not too hard or too mushy. Add lemon and splash of vinegar at the very end. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt and some cracked pepper to taste. Mash a few beans to thicken the sauce a bit. Add the chopped chadon beni (or cilantro) and you’re done!

BARA 
-1 3/4 cup of flour
-1/2 tsp tumeric
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp curry powder
-1 1/2 tsp tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp yeast
-1/8 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup water
-1/2 tbsp oil

NOTE: You can see step by step instructions with pictures here. I halved the recipe and added a few additional spices.

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, in another bowl combine 1/3 cup water, yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast and water to sit for about 5 minutes. Should have a foamy or milky consistency. Mix the dry ingredients into the yeast mixture, adding the reserved water little by little, knead until the mixture comes together into a sticky dough. It should not be too tough or dry, if its dry add more water. If its too wet add a bit of flour. When dough has come together, add a tbsp of oil to coat the dough, cover the bowl with a tea towel, set aside for 1 hour in a warm/dry place and allow the dough to rise. Allow it to double in volume. If it hasn’t doubled in an hour, give it more time. When dough has doubled, pull 2-3 inch balls from the dough and form flat round disks about 4-5 inches wide. Coat your hands with oil if its too sticky.

Heat a few tbsp of oil on medium high heat in a heavy saucepan and fry the disks of dough about 15-20 seconds per side. The dough should puff up. Don’t allow it to get too crispy or too brown, just enough to cook it through. Drain the cooked Dara on paper towels. Pile the channa and other toppings onto the Dara and serve immediately. This recipe yields about 10 Dara.

QUICK PICKLED CUCUMBERS
-1/2 medium purple onion – thinly sliced
-1 large cucumber – sliced into matchsticks
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/2 tsp sugar
-3 TBSP red vinegar
-cracked pepper
-splash of olive oil

Slice the cucumber into thin matchsticks, slice onion very thin. Combine in a bowl and add sugar, salt, vinegar, olive oil and pepper. Stir to combine. Allow to marinate for at least 15-20 mins. Stirring occasionally. You can store this in the fridge and the flavor will get better with time.

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