In the world of Roti, Trinidad continues to outdo itself with taking what we love about Paratha and filling it with seasoned potato and cheese. This layering of seasoned mashed potatoes, similar to the ones found in an Aloo Pie, is then topped with cheese and encased between two Parathas making it a meal in itself.
In Trinidad, we have a way of taking ordinary fruit and kicking it up a notch with local herbs, seasonings and pepper known as Chow. It can be done with most any fruit, however, the Pommecythere fruit also known as Golden Apple or June Plum has a unique taste and texture that makes this version of chow difficult to put down. When you taste the sweet, salty, tangy, herby and spicy flavors combine with the bite and crunch from the Pommecythere, you will wonder why you haven't been eating fruit this way all the time.
Imagine taking that slow winding drive along Trinidad's north mountain coast and coming upon a roadside vendor with a display of glass jars filled with fruit swimming in a colourful mixture of herbs and peppers. This unmistakable sight is where you will find the illustrious Mango Chow! It is made by taking chunks of green mango and marinating it in a magical blend of fresh local Trini herbs and peppers.
Trini Peanut Punch is taken from our African Heritage when peanuts became a part of our agricultural cultivations. Peanuts are well known for being an excellent source of protein and fat which make them a great option as a snack to satisfy your hunger when unable to have a meal. In addition to the great nutritional value, it is natural, creamy and earthy flavor blends well with milk and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Therefore, it is no wonder why so many Trinis love to grab a Peanut Punch for a delicious and gratifying meal on the go.
As many people know, Trinidad is literally a melting pot of various cultural influences and Dahl is one such dish that has traveled from the Indian subcontinent. In India, Dahl is used to describe peas, beans and legumes in general as well as this particular dish. It is known for its rich yellow color that comes from the yellow split peas and the earthy turmeric root used in the cooking process.
Cumin or Geera as it is known in the Caribbean, is a spice with a very distinctive powerful flavor and aroma. This spice is the star of the Geera Pork dish and can be seen and smelt cooking at many family river limes. Often known for being a hot and spicy dish that will get your sinuses draining, it is also famous for helping one sober up after one too many rum and cokes.
Green seasoning can be found in most Trinidad kitchens as it is the foundational element to our cuisine. It is made by taking a variety of local fresh 'green' herbs and blending it to create an aromatic soupy paste like mixture. This mixture is then used to 'season' the entire spectrum of Trinidad dishes. Green Seasoning can be used to marinade meat, as a base for soups, one-pots and curries or you can use it to give depth to a sauce or condiment. There are limitless ways to use this product and there is no better way to dial up the flavors than by adding some hot peppers!
Macaroni Pie is like the holy grail of Trinidad home cooked comfort foods especially for a Sunday lunch. For many Trinis, this dish brings back fond childhood memories of helping to grate cheese in a large bowl and trying not to get caught stealing a piece or two. The cheese is then made into a thick creamy sauce which is carefully seasoned for taste and gives this dish its iconic yellow orange colour. The sauce is then combined with the cooked macaroni and a final sprinkling of cheese is put on top before sliding into the oven to bake.