Living in Cayman means you are surrounded by not only beautiful clear blue Caribbean sea, but also dozens and dozens of different nationalities who bring with them their own food influences in both the restaurants and the supermarkets.
Not long after we arrived in Cayman, Ste kept mentioning something called Doubles they were ordering at work on Fridays from a local cafe called Singh’s Roti Shop. He sent me a picture one week and it looked like mush on a plate. He insisted they were better than they looked so one week he brought some home.
WHY HAVE I NEVER HAD DOUBLES BEFORE????
It’s a little bundle of fluffy, fried, saucy, spicy comfort food yumminess. What’s even better…totally veggie!
According to my extensive googling, this is an absolute favourite street food from Trinidad. Two pieces of little fried bread (hence the double) called Bara layered over each other, with soft full flavoured chana (chickpeas) and topped with an array of dressings and condiments. You fold the doubles together and enjoy. It’s very messy, but worth it.
As I always do when I try something new that I loved, I wanted to have a go at making it myself at home. I found a brilliant step by step recipe (link to original at the bottom) and already had most of the ingredients. It went something like this:
1 lb strong white flour
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil
vegetable oil for shallow frying
2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
10 cups of water for boiling
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small or 1/2 onion, finely chopped
small handful of coriander, finely chopped (the original recipe calls for chadon beni, but I have no idea what this herb is, nor could I find it, but I think coriander is a good substitute)
salt & pepper to taste
Soak your chickpeas in water the night before and prepare your Bara dough in the morning.
To prepare the dough, combine the dry ingredients (flour, turmeric, yeast, salt, sugar, baking powder) then add the water until you have a workable bread dough and knead for 5 minutes or so. Rest in a warm spot until it has doubled in size.
Boil the chickpeas in water for 25 minutes, then add the bicarb of soda and continue to boil for a further 30 minutes until soft.
Whilst the chickpeas are boiling prepare the Bara:
Separate the dough in small balls and heat some oil to a medium high heat in a large pan. Stretch out and flatten each dough ball using your hands and fry on each side for 7-10 seconds each, then rest on kitchen towel to soak up any excess grease.
By now the chickpeas should be just about ready for the next step.
Mix the curry powder, turmeric, ground cumin and garam masala in 1/4 cup of water. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil to a medium heat and add the mixed spices with the garlic and onion. Saute until almost dry, add the cooked chickpeas and enough water to cover them (I used the chickpea water from boiling earlier for extra flavour). Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
When the chana is ready, mash slightly to create more of a sauce, stir in the chopped coriander and add salt and pepper to taste.
To eat, simply overlap two bara on grease proof paper(for the mess!), top with chana and you choice of condiment. We mixed scotch bonnet pepper sauce with vinegar and garlic and drizzled some over the top. Yum!
Other popular toppings are mango chutney, tamarind sauce, coconut chutney and other pepper sauces.
Original Recipe – https://www.simplytrinicooking.com/doubles/