Monday, December 5, 2011

Trinidad Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunch in Trinidad homes is usually stewed chicken, red beans, rice, and calalloo with in addition depending on household, macaroni pie, cressels (water cress) and also boiled plantain and dasheen or eddoes slices. Its quite a big plate really, but typically would only have say one piece of meat. The picture does not show calalloo as we can't get it in UK, or ground provision as again its difficult, we can get in Newcastle but that a 2 hour drive).

In fact Trinidad meals in general are light on meat and even fish, being heavily weighted on sides, macaroni pie, macaroni salad, boiled ground provisions, rice, green salad, water cress, sliced cucumber in lemon and salt and pepper. Some homes will also probably add curried mango. All the main ingredients are in my blog somewhere as recipes except:-
The red beans are usually cooked as follows. Fry slowly an onion chopped and a green pepper sliced until soft and then add a cup or so of water and a tomato plus some tomato paste a few slices of pumpkin, and a tin of red beans drained (you can get very authentic and soak dried red or pink beans overnight and cook with carrot, onion celery and pumpkin until soft, in this case use the beans water instead of plain water). Let it cook for 10-15 minutes and then mash up some of the beans with a fork to get a thick gravy and add salt and ground pepper. Things are added in different households. Some may add some pig tail, some may add a bit of bacon, some vegetable or chicken stock rather than water, its a taste thing.
Although apparently a bland thing, these add a lot of value and flavour. Cut a well ripened plantain in 3 (in the skin) and add to water with chunks of any other you can get dasheen, eddoes, yellow yam white yam. When cooked slice and serve plain. The plantain brings sweetness, the others add texture and a homey warm goodness taste.

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