Making Trinidad Doubles
splitsun (once upon a time) asked:“Hi Pigamitha, thank you so much for having this blog, I really enjoy reading your recipes (and making them too when I get the time). Sometimes it’s a little hard to get some of the ingredients where I am (Trinidad and Tobago) but I make substitutions and they usually still come out great. I know you probably have many requests so I’m hoping that one day you’ll try to make Trinidad "doubles” which consists of two fried “baras” and curried channa (chickpeas) which is yummy street food here.“ Hullo there! My first foodwish from Trinidad & Tobago! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you brought this dish to my attention. Guises, you have to try one of these before the week ends. I was going to withhold this post till the weekend, but screw it. I want you to eat one right now. Find a restaurant near you that serve them. People of New York, Serious Eats recommends Ali’s Trinidad & Tobago Roti Deli Grocery. Grab one and you won’t regret it. Those who don’t have access to such restaurant, weep. Then gather up your courage and power through this recipe. The plan is to divide and conquer - while the dough rests, make the filling. When that’s done, make the tamarind sauce (if you're really unlucky) and grate a cucumber. That’ll give enough time for the dough to rise. Fry the dough, reheat the chickpeas and serve them piping hot with the tamarind sauce, cucumber and lime slices to hungry people to assemble their own doubles according to their taste.
TRINIDAD DOUBLES (recipe adapted from Food.com) FRIED BARAS: [ 1/3 + ½ cup warm water + 1/4 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon yeast + 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon ground turmeric + 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper + vegetable oil for frying ]
Hot, delicious mess.
In a bowl, combine 1/3 of the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside until the mixture bubbles. In another large bowl or in a bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, salt, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and add additional lukewarm water as needed, about ½ cup, until the mixture comes together into slightly firm dough. Using the dough hook or your hands, knead until smooth and elastic and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the curried chickpeas filling: CURRIED CHANNA: [ 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) + 1 tablespoon canola oil + 1 onion, thinly sliced + 3 garlic cloves, minced + 3 teaspoons curry powder + 1 1/3 cup water (can be substituted with low sodium vegetable or chicken broth) + 1 pinch ground cumin + 1-1 ½ tablespoon sugar + juice of ½ lime + salt & freshly ground black pepper ]
Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and the curry powder and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds and add 1/3 cup of water or broth. Stir in the chickpeas, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add 1 more cup of water or broth. Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper and lower the heat. Add in the sugar and lemon juice. Simmer until the chickpeas are very tender. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Pinch off walnut-size pieces of dough and flatten each into a circle about 4 ½ inches in diameter. Dampen your hands with water if the dough is sticky.Heat about 1 cup of canola oil, at least 3 inches deep in a frying pan or medium saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the dough circles and fry, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 40 seconds. Keep the fried dough warm in the oven while you fry the rest.
Now you can either buy the tamarind and kochela sauces to go with the doubles, or you can make some of your own if you’re more like me with no access to these things whatsoever.Tamarind sauce: [ 3 oz tamarind pulp + 2 cloves garlic + 1/2 of a scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, or any hot pepper you have at hand, really + 1 - 1 ½ tablespoon brown sugar + a small bunch of coriander + ¾ cup water ] Chop the pepper, garlic and coriander into a sort of chunky paste. You can use a pestle and mortar if you like. or just whiz them in a food processor.
Place the tamarind pulp into a sauce pan with the water. If your pulp is not seedless, use clean hands to work the pulp away from the seeds and try to crush the flesh between your fingers. Place the saucepan on medium heat, add the sugar and the pepper paste to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and with the pot closed allow to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes until it reaches a thick tomato soup consistency. Let cool before you season and adjust ingredients to taste.
[ Fried baras + curried chickpeas + tamarind sauce + shredded cucumber + Kuchela, if you can get your hands on it (a sauce made from green mangoes and scotch bonnet peppers.) ]Take a bara and add 2 tablespoons of chickpeas. Add the tamarind sauce,and cucumber, if desired. Top with another piece of fried dough and serve