Caribbean Night

One of my friends is studying medicine in Grenada, so we had to have a Caribbean food night before she went back. Caribbean cuisine has been heavily influenced by Indian cuisine. This is because the British government recruited laborers from India (along with China and other countries) in the 19th century to various colonies in the Americas. I like Indian food, so I was pretty sure I’d like Caribbean food, and I was right.

The Grenadan national dish is Breadfruit Oil Down, but I didn’t have time to make it. It sounds like good comfort food so I’ll have to try it when it gets cold.

I made aloo pies, which tasted like “awesome French fries.” They’re similar to perogies with potato filling. If you use the recipe, either half the number of potatoes you use, or double the amount of dough. I’ll boil instead of frying them next time and see how they turn out.

(Modified recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp ground geera (cumin)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and water and knead lightly. Set aside to relax, covered with a bowl or wet cloth.
  2. Peel and boil potatoes in salt water until tender. Mash potatoes well.
  3. Season filling with salt, black pepper, hot pepper and ground geera.
  4. Divide dough into 9 loyah (balls). Flatten balls into 4″ circles and fill with potato. (Can make smaller balls)
  5. Wet one edge with water, fold over and seal, enclosing all potato. Flatten pie between hands as much as possible without breaking the seal.
  6. Fry in deep oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels

Christine made coconut chicken (or just veggie) curry:
  1. Sautee 5-6 pieces of chicken breast (cubed) w/ salt and pepper and then set aside
  2. In a separate pan, sautee:
    • 1 medium yellow/white onion,
    • ~7 cloves of garlic
    • ~golf ball sized ginger
    • salt and pepper
  3. Add:
    • ~1 tbsp curry powder
    • ~2 tsp of cinnamon powder
    • ~0.5 tsp of cumin (if desired)
  4. Add veggies:
    • 1 head of broccoli
    • 2 peppers (1 red, 1 green)
    • 1 bag of sugar snap peas
    • ~3-4 carrots
    • -salt and pepper
  5. Add:
    • 1 – 1.5 cans of diced tomatoes (or 2-3 real tomatoes, but save the juice)
    • 1.5 – 2 cans of coconut milk
    • ~3-4 cloves
    • ~2 bay leaves
  6. Stir it all up, add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve over rice (jasmine is especially good)

Christine also made a delicious rum punch:

Ingredients:

  • frozen or fresh pineapple and mango
  • rum (light)
  • pineapple juice
  • mango nectar
  • sprite or ginger beer
  • grenadine (if desired)

Directions:
In a glass full of ice, add the pieces of pineapple and mango. Throw in a shot (or two!) of rum. Add the mango nectar and pineapple juice in equal quantities until glass is about 2/3 – 3/4 full. Fill the remaining glass with your carbonated beverage of choice. Add a splash of grenadine for extra color and yumminess. :)

For dessert, I made currants rolls. They tasted good alone and with vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • prepared basic pastry dough
  • 1 cup of currants
  • cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • milk

Directions:

  1. Roll out the dough and spread the butter, sprinkle the cinnamon (according to your own taste). 
  2. Spread and press in the currants, and sprinkle a little sugar.
  3. Moisten the edge with a little milk, press together to seal.
  4. Place on lightly greased baking sheet or dish. Start oven at moderate 350 F. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack and cut.

These aren’t Caribbean, but Lena made rich and sweet coconut balls:

Everything was very delicious and I’ll definitely make these dishes again :)

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