Quick food made with chickpeas and curry: Trini’s national dish “Roti”

Potato Roti

Potato Roti – Amins (Couva, Trinidad)
Photo courtesy the lovely and generous Chennette’s Roti Set on Flikr

This article originally appeared on the Caribbean-Sun website (link no longer available). The image links are unfortunately broken however :( I am sharing it ‘as is’ however I wanted to make a few points first :P

1. I believe that the author is referring to Patraj’s St. James location, not the area of San Juan.
2. I have taken off the annoying accent character they kept putting over Patraj’s name. Unless he is suddenly from the South of France I have no idea how it ended up there! :P
3. Current inflation makes my memory fuzzy on the idea of a roti for a $6TT :(

QUICK FOOD MADE WITH CHICKPEAS AND CURRY: Trini’s national dish “Roti”

Curry sauce instead of ketchup: Rotis in Trinidad are like hamburgers in the USA. The island’s unofficial national dish consists of a delicious curry meal wrapped in thin pastry; its prototype was brought to the Caribbean by Indian immigrants some decades ago. The handy little packets of food have turned into a top seller for a quick snack. But at Siriam Patraj’s, Trinidad’s uncrowned roti king, the popular dish is treated as a true delicacy.

By Bernhard Grdseloff (C) 2005

Connoisseurs won’t hesitate to travel all the way to San Juan, a suburb of Port of Spain, just to get hold of a roti at Patraj’s. At carnival, people queue up at the inconspicuous little restaurant as though there was food to be given away. “Actually there are three types of rotis,” the 67-year-old restaurant owner explains. “Sada Roti is served as a side dish, Bussup Shot resembles a cut up pizza, and only for Dhalpouri are the ingredients wrapped up in the dough.”

For the latter popular variety, a ball of dough is filled with ground, split chickpeas, kneaded and rolled out very thinly, and finally baked on a hot stone plate. There are countless different curry fillings to choose from: shrimp, chicken, beef, lamb, mango, pumpkin or capsicum in any combination, mixed with potatoes.

“We use fresh, local ingredients only,” says Patraj, revealing the secret for success of his family-run business. “And despite this, you’ll only pay around 6 TT dollars (about 1 US-Dollar) for a roti at my place”.

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  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    yeah, I read this on the plane…remember thinking “chick peas?” and “cut-up pizza”? Then there’s the “hot stone plate” and sada roti is a “side dish”? Isn’t it just a bread? Actually, if I can resurrect it, on one of those planes where Caribbean Star was losing my luggage, I made notes of their Christmas article…I should post on it :-)

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    yeah, I read this on the plane…remember thinking “chick peas?” and “cut-up pizza”? Then there’s the “hot stone plate” and sada roti is a “side dish”? Isn’t it just a bread? Actually, if I can resurrect it, on one of those planes where Caribbean Star was losing my luggage, I made notes of their Christmas article…I should post on it :-)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    lolz! do :) haha
    i still don’t understand the cut-up pizza? huh? lolz

    making curry pumpkin, place smellin’ nice! :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    lolz! do :) haha
    i still don’t understand the cut-up pizza? huh? lolz

    making curry pumpkin, place smellin’ nice! :D

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Mmmm pumpkin and barfi…wooohooo!
    A bit of a sugar high today?

  • http://chennette.wordpress.com Chennette

    Mmmm pumpkin and barfi…wooohooo!
    A bit of a sugar high today?

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    my tummy hurts :D *pat pat*

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    my tummy hurts :D *pat pat*

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com Veron

    Hi Sarina,
    My co-worker brings it in regularly for his lunch and it looks so good. In anycase, I would love to have it with lamb or mango…Yum!

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com Veron

    Hi Sarina,
    My co-worker brings it in regularly for his lunch and it looks so good. In anycase, I would love to have it with lamb or mango…Yum!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Oh wow really?! :) You must definitely buy some :D I’ll be sharing some recipes for it in the near future :D Mango is a popular filling in vegetarian rotis here :) Mango with pumpkin and chickpeas and potatos… SO good :D Lamb rotis are also available :D again…. so good!

    Am watching Michael Lomonaco’s Epicurious :) I heart him! :D

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Oh wow really?! :) You must definitely buy some :D I’ll be sharing some recipes for it in the near future :D Mango is a popular filling in vegetarian rotis here :) Mango with pumpkin and chickpeas and potatos… SO good :D Lamb rotis are also available :D again…. so good!

    Am watching Michael Lomonaco’s Epicurious :) I heart him! :D

  • Nastashia

    HI,
    Does anyone know where I can purchase a tawah (roti baking stone) online. I live in America and can’t find one.
    thanks

  • Nastashia

    HI,
    Does anyone know where I can purchase a tawah (roti baking stone) online. I live in America and can’t find one.
    thanks

  • Becky

    I have family that live in NY and they have no problem finding a tawah, but i’m not sure where you can find one online.If you have anyone in NY ask them to help find you one,Liberty Queens or Manhattan.

  • Becky

    I have family that live in NY and they have no problem finding a tawah, but i’m not sure where you can find one online.If you have anyone in NY ask them to help find you one,Liberty Queens or Manhattan.

  • barry roy

    how to make mango, as a side dish for roti

  • barry roy

    how to make mango, as a side dish for roti

  • Prilly

    My husband, who grew up in the Caribbean, has me addicted to Roti. I keep practicing making it and it seems to get better with each try. I was able to find a tawa online, although it was last year and I can’t remember which website it was. My biggest problem is getting the roti skin right. The roti I’ve had, when you pull it apart seems to almost be two layers with the chick peas in the middle. I can’t quite seem to get it to turn out this way. I’m thinking because its not quite thin enough. I keep trying but I’m not sure how to get it any thinner! I LOVE ROTI! The best to me is chicken with potatoes!

  • Prilly

    My husband, who grew up in the Caribbean, has me addicted to Roti. I keep practicing making it and it seems to get better with each try. I was able to find a tawa online, although it was last year and I can’t remember which website it was. My biggest problem is getting the roti skin right. The roti I’ve had, when you pull it apart seems to almost be two layers with the chick peas in the middle. I can’t quite seem to get it to turn out this way. I’m thinking because its not quite thin enough. I keep trying but I’m not sure how to get it any thinner! I LOVE ROTI! The best to me is chicken with potatoes!

  • http://kallascaribbeankitchen.com teddy

    Next time you r making sada roti,after cooking on both sides place in microwave for 20 seconds.You will see that balloon you want to see

  • http://kallascaribbeankitchen.com teddy

    Next time you r making sada roti,after cooking on both sides place in microwave for 20 seconds.You will see that balloon you want to see

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