BY SAIRA MALHOTRA
This month is all about taking it to the street! Taking a wander through the streets of Trinidad, one could certainly expect to find people scoffing all kinds of savory and spicy snacks. One particularly popular item is ‘Roti’. Roti, is bread brought by the early Indian settlers of the sub-continent and over a period of time has morphed in to this island delicacy. Wrapped tightly around various braised curries of chicken, shrimp, chick peas, and sweet potato, this dish is the perfect meal on the go; after all, there are places to go and people to meet. Just a word of advice: this dish is not for the faint-hearted and be sure to have your bottle of water on-hand.
Adapted from Chicken Roti Recipe
For the chicken and chickpea curry:
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 small scotch bonnet , sliced
1 large red onion , diced
1 sprig of thyme
3 cloves of garlic , minced
1 tbsp vinegar
4 tbsp Jamaican curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt, to taste
1 1/2 pounds chicken, (drumsticks and thighs on the bone)
1 can of chickpeas , drained
3 cups chicken stock
For the roti bread:
grapeseed oil for cooking
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups water
For the Chicken and Chickpea Curry:
1. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil and sweat the onions until tender. Add the sliced scotch bonnets, sprigs of thyme, vinegar, Jamaican curry powder and cumin and let the flavors release. Season with salt.
2. Saute the chicken in the mixture to seal the outside for 5 minutes and the cover with stock to braise. Once the chicken is tender, remove the meat from the bones and reduce the simmering liquid. As the sauce thickens, add the chicken and the drained chick peas to the pot and coat in the sauce. Check for seasoning.
For the Roti:
1. Sift all the dry ingredients and knead with water in a bowl. As the dough comes together, continue kneading on a floured surface. Allow to rest for 40 minutes.
2. Divide the mixture in to four balls and roll out on a floured surface, in to round sheets about 8-inches wide.
3. Lightly brush the roti with oil and place on a hot skillet. Cook each side for 2 minutes until brown flecks are visible. Remove from skillet.
1. Place a large tablespoon of curry in the middle of the roti and roll it tightly.