Tomato chokha and sada roti

A bachelor friend asked me this week for a recipe for this classic Trinidad East Indian breakfast.  Not one to let a man go starving, I did a little consulting with my Indian girlfriends and figured out how to whip up this simple yet satisfying meal for breakfast this morning. I also learnt what it means to “chunkay” a pot!



Tomato Chokha

What to use

4 firm ripe tomatoes

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 white onion (diced )

1 tbs olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

hot pepper (optional)

Pretty much all you need!

What to do

Drizzle a little olive oil over tomatoes and roast in oven at 400 degrees until tender.   Allow to cool enough to handle and gently remove skin.  Mash pulp up to desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky while some prefer it smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry garlic and onion in 1 tbs of olive oil for a few minutes and then add to tomatoes. (This is the “chunkay” part!)  Serve warm with some freshly made sada roti.

Sada roti

What to use

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup warm water

What to do

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and yeast. Add enough water to make smooth dough while kneading well. Cover dough with damp towel for about 25 minutes.  Roll dough into balls. This recipe should give you about 5 balls (just a little bigger than a golf ball).  Roll each ball out into a 1/2 inch thick flat circle.  Cook on a hot griddle or tawah for a couple minutes on each side.  The dough will rise while cooking.

Slice and serve nice and warm.


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Usually when I stock on loads of veggies, they spoil before I’ve had a chance to cook them all.  So I’ve been making a real effort to find ways to cook them to avoid the monumental wastage that usually occurs every week.

A few days ago I tried out this roasted vegetable pizza and enjoyed the taste and combination so much that I thought it would also work well in a lasagna dish.  I could use loads of veggies and have lunch for the week!

What to use

I used the same ingredients from here to roast the vegetables and make the tomato sauce plus the following:-

Lasagna sheets

2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

What to do

Cook lasagna sheets according to package instructions. Layer a large baking dish with tomato sauce. Add a layer of lasagna sheets, then a layer of cheddar cheese, then a layer of roasted vegetables.  Top that with a sprinkle of coarse black pepper and a scattering  of crumbled goat cheese. Repeat until you have a final layer of lasagna sheets.  Top with some more tomato sauce and a layer of cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional five minutes to allow top to brown.

Allow to rest for about ten minutes before serving.

This was one meal I didn’t mind eating every day for a whole week!



Candi’s Cinnamon Hazelnut French Toast

Who doesn’t love french toast? It’s my favourite treat when I’m in the mood for something a little more indulgent for breakfast.  I’ve got a much needed day off from work today so I decided to whip up a somewhat healthier version of the classic french toast.  It is ridiculously simple and utterly delicious!

What to use

1/2 cup Silk Almond milk

2 tbs hazelnut coffee creamer

1 egg

1 tsp cinnamon powder

3 slices Pepperidge farm Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl Bread

PAM butter flavour cooking spray

Toppings (entirely optional but highly recommended!)

sugar free maple syrup

Hershey’s light chocolate syrup

Fat free whipped cream

sliced bananas

2 packets of Splenda (with added fiber)


What to do

Whisk together milk, creamer, egg and cinnamon.   Dip each slice of bread in the mixture.  Cook bread on each side over medium heat in a skillet or frying pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Once both sides are brown, plate and add toppings.



Pelau (pronounced pay-lao) is one of the traditional dishes of  my homeland, Trinidad & Tobago. It’s a very easy to make one pot meal…our version of pilaf or paella.   It’s a staple of many a get together or lime as we call them.  Everyone has their own twist on the popular dish but my preference is for the  deliciously simple combination of rice, chicken and pigeon peas.

I can pretty much make pelau in my sleep.  It’s a wonderful Saturday afternoon dish which can refrigerate well and provide lunch for the whole week.   I actually think it tastes better after a few days.

Here’s a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks – The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook.  This cookbook, which features the multi-cultural cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean,  is a must have for every Trinbagonian cook!

What to use

3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned

1tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp mixed green seasoning

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 – 3 tbsp brown sugar

2 cups parboiled rice

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2  cup chopped sweet or pimento peppers

1 1/2 cups cooked pigeon peas

1 tbsp salt

1 whole hot pepper with stem (Scotch Bonnet)

2 cups coconut milk

2 cups chicken broth or water

What to do

Season chicken with salt, pepper, green seasoning, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup.  Heat oil in a large heavy iron pot or skillet.  Add sugar and allow to burn until brown.  Add seasoned chicken and stir until pieces are well coated with burnt sugar; brown for 5 minutes.  Add rice and turn often until well mixed.  Cook for 3 minutes more.  Add onion, sweet peppers and peas and cook for a few minutes, stirring a few times.  Add salt, hot pepper, coconut milk and broth.  Bring to the boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until rice is cooked and all liquid is evaporated (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Add more liquid if rice is still hard and continue to cook for a few minutes.

My adjustments

I used whole grain brown rice instead of parboiled white rice to up the fiber content.  I also added chopped carrots for some colour.

Pelau is traditionally served with a side of coleslaw but unfortunately I had no cabbage!  Next time for sure!

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