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.


Chocolate chip coffee muffins

Okay, I must confess I am becoming a tad obsessed with baking muffins.  They are so easy and virtually impossible for a baking novice like me to mess up.  This weekend I decided to experiment  a bit using my basic muffin recipe as a base (with a few minor adjustments) and another yummy creation was born.  Who needs a latte when you’ve got these?

What to use

2 cups flour

3 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

2 tbs instant coffee

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream liqueur ( I used Amarula Cream Liquer but I think Bailey’s will work just as well)

What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in  large bowl.  Add coffee to milk and stir until completely dissolved.  Add to that mixture the liqueur and stir well. In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork and add milk mixture and oil. Stir well.   Pour wet ingredients into a well in the flour mixture and stir until moistened.  Dust chocolate chips lightly with flour and fold into batter.  Pour into lined muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes.

Chocolate chip goodness!

Fresh out of the oven

Drunken Cherry and Almond Muffins

What to use

2 cups flour

3 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 small jar of maraschino cherries

1/4 cup dark rum

1/2 cup slivered almonds (finely chopped)

dash of cinnamon

What to do

Roughly chop cherries and soak in rum for about 1/2 hour.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in  large bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork and add milk and oil.  Add wet mixture to a well in the flour mixture and stir until moistened.  Drain cherries and fold into  mixture.  Add almonds and fold into mixture. Stir in a dash of cinnamon.  Pour into paper lined muffin tin.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

NB .You can use this recipe as the base for any muffin and subsitute your choice of fruits and nuts.

Savoury Plantain Pie

What to use

Four large ripe plantains

1 cup milk

1 egg

3 cups grated cheddar cheese

pinch of salt

1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

What to do

Cut each plantain in half.  Place plantains in large pot and boil until soft.  Peel and slice plantains diagonally. Each slice should be about 1/2 inch thick. Beat egg and add to milk. Stir in pinch of salt and black pepper. In a greased shallow baking dish, alternate layers of plantain and cheese starting with a layer of plantain.  Pour milk mixture over layers and top with a layer of panko bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 to375 degree for 45 minutes or until golden brown.


I absolutely love when people try my recipes and make them their own.  My sister did her take on this by using a mixture plantains and sweet potato (which she also boiled first).  She topped her pie with crushed Post cereal.  She swears it’s better than my rendition! lol

Here’s the proof:-

Chi’s Savoury Plantain and Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin and Cranberry Muffins

I love baking on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It’s a perfect way to relax and I can palm off treat my co-workers to some goodies on Monday morning.  I decided to use whatever I had in my pantry for inspiration.  Turns out I had a can of pumpkin and a bag of dried cranberries.

What to use

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 handful of dried cranberries

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp allspice

1  1/4 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

What to do

Preheat oven toe 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with muffin cups or spray nonstick muffin tin with some cooking spray.

Sift flour and baking powder into a small bowl.  Add a generous handful of dried cranberries.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, allspice, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixture until  smooth.

Add the flour mixture and then fold everything together until combined.

Pour into muffin tin.  Sprinkle each muffin with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake until golden brown for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Stick a toothpick in the center of each muffin and if it comes out clean you know you’re done.

Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Jammin’ Orange Chicken

I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called Eat What You Love by Marlene Koch which caters towards weight loss and diabetes diets. It made for a tasty, quick, healthy and satisfying dinner.

What to use

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (seasoned with 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp of kosher salt , juice of half of a lemon and 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper)

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 onion (finely chopped)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup chicken broth

7 tbs sweet orange marmalade

1 tbs white wine vinegar

1  1/2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

What to do

Wrap the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and place on a cutting board.  Gently pound each breast with a mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness.  Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until well browned and cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a place and cover.

Add the remaining teaspoon of the oil to the pan. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened.  Pour in the broth, orange juice, marmalade, white wine vinegar and soy sauce and stir until smooth.  Cook until slightly thickened. Return the chicken to the skillet and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes while coating with the sauce.

Served with a some green beans sauteed in butter, sea salt, black pepper and minced garlic.

A farmers’ market breakfast

It’s spring time in New York and I’m visiting my lovely aunt who insisted on dragging me to the Farmers’ Market in the pouring rain this morning.  I don’t know what it is about markets and me but every single time I go to a market, no matter where in the world,  it rains. Not a sprinkle or a drizzle but buckets of rain!

Torrential downpour notwithstanding, I had lots of fun going through the fresh produce and sampling the organic, homemade items on offer from goat cheese with cinnamon and dried cranberries, honey, warm apple cider and fresh artisan bread. Yum! Unfortunately, since my camera is not waterproof I couldn’t take any pics!  We picked up some stuff for breakfast and lunch and made our way back through the rain via the park. And wouldn’t you know, as soon as we left the market, the rain eased!

Spring time in New York

For breakfast, I picked up freshly baked foccacia bread, fresh goat cheese, organic tomatoes, basil and oyster mushrooms which I’ve never tried but they looked so pretty,  I couldn’t resist.

Oyster Mushrooms

The oyster mushrooms lived up to their name.  They had a fishy, oyster like aroma and taste. I sauteed them in olive oil with some minced shallots and garlic for a few minutes and added a little kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice.

After removing them from the skillet, I lightly seared slices of tomato seasoned with kosher salt and Italian seasoning.  I used up the last juices from the pan by toasting the bread in the skillet.  I then plated everything up topping the tomato slices with goat cheese crumbles and fresh basil. We washed it all down with apple cider with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Happy Easter!

It’s the Easter weekend and I’m craving hot cross buns….  However, I’m on vacation so there will be no baking for me this weekend.  I’ll just have to drool over these!

   Wizzy’s Hot Cross Bun(nies)

Egg fried rice

No long story or clever anecdote tonight.  Just dinner! Chinese without the takeout.

What to use

3/4 cup long grain rice

2 eggs (beaten)

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves  (minced)

1 tsp lemongrass (ch0pped finely)

4 stalks spring onion (diced)

1 can peas and carrots

2 tbsp soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)

a few sprigs of chives for garnishing

Chines five spice powder ( a couple dashes)

sea salt

What to do

Cook rice, drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.  Scramble eggs over low heat. Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet until really hot.  Add the garlic, spring onions, lemon grass and peas and carrots and saute for about two minutes.  Stir in the rice and then add scrambled eggs.  Add soy sauce, five spice and salt to taste.  Saute for a few minutes more and then transfer to serving bowls.

Caprese Tarts (with a touch of feta)

I wanted to do a little twist on one of my favourite salads, the caprese salad. The caprese salad is  just a simple combination of tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil.  I used the same ingredients but decided to make into a little pastry instead. This recipe makes three tarts.

What to use

1/2 sheet of puff pastry (divided into three squares)

3 tsps of pesto

1/2 large tomato (sliced thickly)

3 tbs fresh basil leaves (julienned)

3 slices of feta cheese (tomato & basil flavoured preferably)

1 egg (whisked with 1 tsp of water to make egg wash)

dried oregano

Sea salt

black pepper

What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Layer a baking tray with parchment paper.  Thaw out 1/2 sheet puff pastry and divide into three rectangles and place on baking tray. Be sure to leave a few inches between each rectangle.

Spread 1 tsp of pesto in the center of each rectangle.  Add one thick slice of tomato to each.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on each slice of tomato. Add some chopped basil, a thick slice of mozzarella, a little more basil and top with a slice of feta cheese.

Brush edges of each rectangle with egg wash and top each with a sprinkle of oregano. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Before they hit the oven….

Out of the oven….

tomato and mozzarella tarts

Close up…

Ready to dig in…

Ridiculously easy and absolutely delicious!

!!!!Updated to add new photo!!!

I couldn’t resist making these again the following night.  Just a little variation in presentation….

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