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.


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

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….

Baked eggs with spinach and cheese


Love and eggs are best when they are fresh. – Russian proverb

What to use

3 eggs

1/3 cup red peppers

2 tbs chopped chives

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

salt and pepper (to taste)

cooking spray

What to do


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two ramekins with cooking spray.  In a mixing bowl, add eggs and gently stir in remaining ingredients except cheese.  Don’t whisk!  Top with cheese.  Pour into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with a little chopped chive.

This works perfectly for a brunch. You can increase the number of eggs and other ingredients accordingly and use a muffin tin to serve lots of people. Each person will then have a perfectly baked omelette and you don’t have to slave over a frying pan!

And this is what they looked like on the inside after I nibbled off all that lovely top layer of cheesy goodness!


Hearty lentil soup

Wow! I’ve been so busy.  It’s seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a home-cooked meal.  I’ve been planning to make this soup for some time now but only just got around to actually doing it.

It’s pretty easy to put together and is a hearty option for dinner.

What to use

1 cup lentils (washed and drained)

1  white onion (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbs shadon beni (finely chopped)

3 tbs spring onion or chive (finely chopped)

2 carrots (sliced)

3 cups pumpkin (cubed)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 cups water or vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs lemon juice

parsley for garnishing

2 tbs olive oil

Tabasco sauce

What to do

Boil lentils for two minutes and leave to soak for an hour.  Drain lentils and set aside. Saute onion, celery, garlic, shadon beni and spring onion in olive oil until tender.  Add lentils, carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, water/stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft and pumpkin and carrots are tender. Stir in lemon juice and remove bay leaves before serving. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and top with parsley.


Roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwich

Roasting is fast become my favourite way of preparing vegetables.  I absolutely love the resulting flavours. I was on the hunt for a recipe to try  and adapted this recipe from Ina Garten for  dinner tonight. Ina’s recipe was a little too long and involved for a quick dinner for one so I did a few short cuts which I don’t think hurt the recipe one bit.

What to use

1 red bell pepper

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove (finely chopped)

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

2 tbs goat cheese ( I used a garlic & herb flavoured one.)

handful of fresh spinach leaves

thick, chunky ,crusty bread of your choice (e.g ciabatta)

What to do

Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.   In the meantime, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper and salt and set aside.  When pepper is done, allow to cool for a few minutes and remove skin.   Place peppers in vinaigrette and let sit for a few minutes while you toast bread.  I used an Asiago cheese bread. You can also place bread under the broiler for a minute or two.  Spread goat cheese on toasted spread, add roasted pepper and top with spinach.  And there you have it! Delicious, satisfying and healthy.



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!



Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Goat Cheese

Giving up meat for Lent?  Don’t know what to cook? Try this earthy, rich, delicious pizza.  I promise you won’t miss the meat.




What to use

1 large zucchini (sliced)

1 Eggplant (sliced)

1 Red Bell Pepper (sliced thickly)

1 Yellow Bell Pepper (sliced thickly)

1 small red onion (cut into wedges)

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

4 tbs olive oil

1 tbs red wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped thyme

tomato sauce (See recipe below)

3 oz goat cheese

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

pizza dough (click here for recipe)



What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay out vegetables.  Mix together oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper and pour over vegetables.  Toss together and roast  for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

roasted vegetables

While vegetables are roasting, prepare tomato sauce.  You will need:-

2 tbs olive oil

1 small white onion

1 garlic clove

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 tbs chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper

What to do

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute.  Add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the sauce to boil, then simmer, uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced by half.  Discard the bay leaves before serving.  Unused sauce can be bottled and refrigerated for about a week.

Roll out pizza dough and spread with tomato sauce.  I didn’t feel like mixing the dough tonight so I used naan bread in place of the pizza dough. You can use a flat bread of your choice or even a tortilla.

Lay out the vegetables and top with goat cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until dough is crisp and golden (about 20 minutes).









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