Trinidad Doubles (recipe)

Doubles

As I’ve written in the past Trinidad doubles is the ultimate local street food. It’s cheap. Usually hot/warm. Hearty. Filling. The below video, from the bookmann, is for the old skool style of doubles with 2 bara that form a ‘chickpea sandwich’. These days doubles vendors more often will make one large bara that is then folded over to enclose the curried channa filling. You can see that method in the below video! :D


One large thin bara may be good for speed and profits but let’s not let the 2 bara method die out either, it is after all how doubles got its name! :D Plus it’s cute! :D

By the way, I’ve seen online several people mentioning that their bara tends to come out like fried bake (bready?) … So I should let readers know that done right bara should be spongy and pillowy, light and chewy and very flexible/bendable :D If you are one of those with fried bake results drop me a line and I’ll try to troubleshoot :lol:


Trinidad Doubles

(adapted from a recipe in the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)

INGREDIENTS:

Bara:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon gheera (cumin)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 tsp sugar
Oil for frying

Filling (Curried Channa):
1 14 oz channa, tinned
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tsp ground geera (cumin)
1 tsp Pepper sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Trinidad Doubles

METHOD:

1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, curry powder and gheera.
2. In a separate small bowl place the warm water, sugar and yeast and set to sponge for 5 minutes.
3. To the flour, add the yeast mixture and enough water to make a slightly firm dough.
4. Mix well, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
5. For the filling, heat the oil in a heavy skillet, add onion, garlic and 1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder mixed with 1/4 cup water.
6. Sauté for a few minutes.

7. Add the channa, stir to coat well and cook for five minutes.

8. Add 1 cup water, gheera, salt and pepper; cover, lower heat and simmer until the peas are very soft (20-30 minutes).

9. When the channa is finished it should be moist and soft.
10. Add pepper sauce and season to taste with additional salt if desired.
11. For the bara: The dough should be punched down and allowed to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

12. To shape the bara, take 1 tablespoon of the dough and flatten to a round, 4 or 5 inches in diameter.


NOTE: Pay particular attention to how thin, flat, and oily/sticky these rounds are. If your rounds are thicker, dryer or heavier than this they will -not- come out with the right texture

13. Use oil to moisten palms of your hands so that the dough won’t stick to them :)
14. Fry the baras in hot oil until puffy (about 15 seconds per side), turn once and drain on kitchen paper

15. When all are cooked, fill with channa by placing a heaping tablespoon of the cooked filling on each bara, covering with another to form a sandwich.

Trinidad Doubles

Makes 6 servings

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • A Trini’s American Wife

    Anyone knows where I can get some good doubles and/or Trini food in Orange County, California?

  • A Trini’s American Wife

    Anyone knows where I can get some good doubles and/or Trini food in Orange County, California?

  • Farzia

    ana said:
    Farzia said:

    Anyone knows where I can get some good doubles and/or Trini food in Winnipeg, Manitoba???
    ——————

    Re: Try Deen’s at 205 Marion St. in St. Boniface

    Good doubles and music

    ______

    Re: I did try Deen’s at 205 Marion street….. that ain’t doubles!!! And it didn’t have music either!!!! The place look real run down… it was sad!!! I got all excited… doubles in Winnipeg!!! Not one fart yes!!!! The “doubles” was so terrible, I ain’t order nuttin else!!!! I walked out the place wanting to cuss the fella yes!!! How he cuda watch a trini in they eye and tell them that is doubles!?!?!?!?! On a scale 1 – 10 (10 being the best), I would rate that place MINUS 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It have any other place in Winnipeg for REAL TRINIDAD doubles?????

  • Farzia

    ana said:
    Farzia said:

    Anyone knows where I can get some good doubles and/or Trini food in Winnipeg, Manitoba???
    ——————

    Re: Try Deen’s at 205 Marion St. in St. Boniface

    Good doubles and music

    ______

    Re: I did try Deen’s at 205 Marion street….. that ain’t doubles!!! And it didn’t have music either!!!! The place look real run down… it was sad!!! I got all excited… doubles in Winnipeg!!! Not one fart yes!!!! The “doubles” was so terrible, I ain’t order nuttin else!!!! I walked out the place wanting to cuss the fella yes!!! How he cuda watch a trini in they eye and tell them that is doubles!?!?!?!?! On a scale 1 – 10 (10 being the best), I would rate that place MINUS 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It have any other place in Winnipeg for REAL TRINIDAD doubles?????

  • Nick

    Hi great recipe! one of my all time favorite foods, my doubles shop has moved but now I’m making them myself!. Thanks

  • Nick

    Hi great recipe! one of my all time favorite foods, my doubles shop has moved but now I’m making them myself!. Thanks

  • Kiev

    i tasted one in oropouch
    i TELL YOU I RECOMENDIN THE SITE 2 PPL all because
    WE LOSING HTE ART OF MAKIN DOUBLES
    i tried it (nearly burnt ma house down)
    but it tasted very well

  • Kiev

    i tasted one in oropouch
    i TELL YOU I RECOMENDIN THE SITE 2 PPL all because
    WE LOSING HTE ART OF MAKIN DOUBLES
    i tried it (nearly burnt ma house down)
    but it tasted very well

  • http://www.caribbeanpot.com Chris De La Rosa

    This is the 2nd time I’ve come across this post and it’s the 2nd time I’ll be driving to Toronto to buy some doubles. Those pictures get the greedy juices flowing in my mouth and I can’t stop, but think about doubles and amazing peppersause that Drupatis bathes my doubles with.

    Chris De La Rosa’s last blog post..Tasty Trinidad style stew chicken recipe.

  • http://www.caribbeanpot.com Chris De La Rosa

    This is the 2nd time I’ve come across this post and it’s the 2nd time I’ll be driving to Toronto to buy some doubles. Those pictures get the greedy juices flowing in my mouth and I can’t stop, but think about doubles and amazing peppersause that Drupatis bathes my doubles with.

    Chris De La Rosa’s last blog post..Tasty Trinidad style stew chicken recipe.

  • Pat

    I *love* this recipe. I visited Trinidad for a couple weeks staying with a wonderful trini woman (bringing back some of her homemade pepper sauce), and during that time we probably went to Independence Square about 20 times to get doubles. When I got home I started using this recipe to cook them for everybody I know (not one person I’ve served has failed to rave about them).

    A couple personal touches I use are:
    Only 1-1 1/2 tsp of geera, as 2 tsp seems a bit too strong, maybe the standard geera in the US is too strong for this recipe? If I add too much I have to drain off some of the curry liquid, add some more curry powder and some more water. Playing with the channa to get the curry just right makes it exquisite even without the bara.

    For the bara I prefer using the Durum Atta flour Indians use for roti/chapati – though I’m not Indian, I love the roti ;) Using this flour also seems to have the darker color that I remember from the street vendors in Port of Spain, but I could be wrong, not sure what flour they typically use in Trinidad. In the US pretty much every major city has an Indian grocery store you can get it from. If you’re lucky enough to be in NYC, brooklyn, queens and the bronx all have trini/carribean grocery stores.

    Thanks again Sarina, me and those around me will have a little bit of Trinidad in our hearts and stomachs for the rest of my life thanks to this recipe!

  • Pat

    I *love* this recipe. I visited Trinidad for a couple weeks staying with a wonderful trini woman (bringing back some of her homemade pepper sauce), and during that time we probably went to Independence Square about 20 times to get doubles. When I got home I started using this recipe to cook them for everybody I know (not one person I’ve served has failed to rave about them).

    A couple personal touches I use are:
    Only 1-1 1/2 tsp of geera, as 2 tsp seems a bit too strong, maybe the standard geera in the US is too strong for this recipe? If I add too much I have to drain off some of the curry liquid, add some more curry powder and some more water. Playing with the channa to get the curry just right makes it exquisite even without the bara.

    For the bara I prefer using the Durum Atta flour Indians use for roti/chapati – though I’m not Indian, I love the roti ;) Using this flour also seems to have the darker color that I remember from the street vendors in Port of Spain, but I could be wrong, not sure what flour they typically use in Trinidad. In the US pretty much every major city has an Indian grocery store you can get it from. If you’re lucky enough to be in NYC, brooklyn, queens and the bronx all have trini/carribean grocery stores.

    Thanks again Sarina, me and those around me will have a little bit of Trinidad in our hearts and stomachs for the rest of my life thanks to this recipe!

  • Wendell

    What is the doubles man in the video putting on his doubles. There appears to be three buckets. He puts something from all of them on the doubles. One bucket has to be the channa but what is in the other two?

  • Wendell

    What is the doubles man in the video putting on his doubles. There appears to be three buckets. He puts something from all of them on the doubles. One bucket has to be the channa but what is in the other two?

  • Naren

    Ok Gyul,
    I tried the recipe and it was da bomb.But i made some adjustments and i’ll like to suggest a very specific way to shape the things.Well i halved the curry and geera in the flour, it was less intense and did not take from the flavor of the channa.Of course no true gourmet is gonna follow that channa recipe, so make it to please you,I chopped up idaho potatoes really small and sauteed those first with the curry powder before adding any liquid, added white pepper and cayenne, which gives it a nice punch but “DOH BUN YUH MOUFF.,BUT DAT IS JUST ME”.
    Well the dough was a messy goop and kinda intimidating at first, but with liberal amounts of oil on yuh hands rip off a golf ball sized glob and place it on an oiled ceramic plate “YEH THE TYPE YUH EAT ON” proceed to massage it into a ” circle like” shape and bob’s your uncle.This was my first time making doubles and it received rave reviews.Keep up the good work.

  • Naren

    Ok Gyul,
    I tried the recipe and it was da bomb.But i made some adjustments and i’ll like to suggest a very specific way to shape the things.Well i halved the curry and geera in the flour, it was less intense and did not take from the flavor of the channa.Of course no true gourmet is gonna follow that channa recipe, so make it to please you,I chopped up idaho potatoes really small and sauteed those first with the curry powder before adding any liquid, added white pepper and cayenne, which gives it a nice punch but “DOH BUN YUH MOUFF.,BUT DAT IS JUST ME”.
    Well the dough was a messy goop and kinda intimidating at first, but with liberal amounts of oil on yuh hands rip off a golf ball sized glob and place it on an oiled ceramic plate “YEH THE TYPE YUH EAT ON” proceed to massage it into a ” circle like” shape and bob’s your uncle.This was my first time making doubles and it received rave reviews.Keep up the good work.

  • Me-ge We-ge

    I’m glad I found this site while looking for a sorrel recipe and now my mouth is watering seeing all the Trini foods that I miss so much. It brings back good memories. Keep up the good work people. Trini to de bone in Boston.

  • Me-ge We-ge

    I’m glad I found this site while looking for a sorrel recipe and now my mouth is watering seeing all the Trini foods that I miss so much. It brings back good memories. Keep up the good work people. Trini to de bone in Boston.

  • marsha

    if u have good trindad dishes to share with me please let me know at missmarshar@yahoo.com at anytime thank you

  • marsha

    if u have good trindad dishes to share with me please let me know at missmarshar@yahoo.com at anytime thank you

  • Ro

    Muumford in Brooklyn…

    I feel for you. But I shore by now…every trini in Brooklyn show you wear to go. I am in California Now. When I lived in Brooklyn, off the corner of Nostrand and ‘ something ‘ 4 blocks from the ‘A’ train stop on Flatbush…As you climb the stairs..there is a doubles shop…….and a line to join……. failing that , take the A-train..towards the airport. There are 2 trains. One Goes to Far Rockaway…NOT-THAT-ONE…take the one to Lefferts Blvd. take it ALL the way to the last stop. As you decend the stairs from the elevetaed platform, you will ‘see’ St James in front of you . You can smell it. Go East…away from the train..for the next 8 blocks…..you will find Every-thing Doubles and GOLD……Alis’ roti…..has a line also..especially in the morning. Enjoy. Remember to leave the shop before it closes.

  • Ro

    Muumford in Brooklyn…

    I feel for you. But I shore by now…every trini in Brooklyn show you wear to go. I am in California Now. When I lived in Brooklyn, off the corner of Nostrand and ‘ something ‘ 4 blocks from the ‘A’ train stop on Flatbush…As you climb the stairs..there is a doubles shop…….and a line to join……. failing that , take the A-train..towards the airport. There are 2 trains. One Goes to Far Rockaway…NOT-THAT-ONE…take the one to Lefferts Blvd. take it ALL the way to the last stop. As you decend the stairs from the elevetaed platform, you will ‘see’ St James in front of you . You can smell it. Go East…away from the train..for the next 8 blocks…..you will find Every-thing Doubles and GOLD……Alis’ roti…..has a line also..especially in the morning. Enjoy. Remember to leave the shop before it closes.

  • Ro

    Ohh Yes Mr Mumford.

    The A-train to Lefferts, stops AT Liberty Ave. It runs east-to-west….
    Just take a walk to the east. If You are in Jamaica, I think the 112 bus takes you there also.

  • Ro

    Ohh Yes Mr Mumford.

    The A-train to Lefferts, stops AT Liberty Ave. It runs east-to-west….
    Just take a walk to the east. If You are in Jamaica, I think the 112 bus takes you there also.

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  • Lost-n-FL

    I want to surprise my (Trini) husband with this recipe..im a quick study but I need help can I use any brand of curry powder, cumin, channa, and pepper sauce??? I just want this to come out perfect for him….

  • Lost-n-FL

    I want to surprise my (Trini) husband with this recipe..im a quick study but I need help can I use any brand of curry powder, cumin, channa, and pepper sauce??? I just want this to come out perfect for him….

  • Edmee Joseph

    I enjoyed reading your receipe for bara and all the comments. Growing in Trinidad and eating doubles by my school will never be forgotten. My question to you is could I put yeast in my flour to make dalpari roti. I have been using baking powder but I still want to make it lighter. I have a lot of people enjoy what I make but I think I can make it lighter. I feel good when I am complimented.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Dear Edmee, so glad you are enjoying the blog! I am not sure that yeast is necessary to lighten your dough. The key to the lightness of ‘breads’ like roti is the number of layers of fat that you can get in the flour. It’s the oil that creates little pockets and the sense of ‘airiness’ or ‘lightness’ in the dough in the cooking process. What I would advise is trying to create as many layers of fat by using a solid ghee instead of a liquid (if that’s what you are using), and to also try to keep the dough as cool as possible before it hits the tawa… This should make a difference, let me know :) Yeast may change the taste too much and make it a little ‘breadier’. Let me know! Best Wishes :)

  • Edmee Joseph

    I enjoyed reading your receipe for bara and all the comments. Growing in Trinidad and eating doubles by my school will never be forgotten. My question to you is could I put yeast in my flour to make dalpari roti. I have been using baking powder but I still want to make it lighter. I have a lot of people enjoy what I make but I think I can make it lighter. I feel good when I am complimented.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Dear Edmee, so glad you are enjoying the blog! I am not sure that yeast is necessary to lighten your dough. The key to the lightness of ‘breads’ like roti is the number of layers of fat that you can get in the flour. It’s the oil that creates little pockets and the sense of ‘airiness’ or ‘lightness’ in the dough in the cooking process. What I would advise is trying to create as many layers of fat by using a solid ghee instead of a liquid (if that’s what you are using), and to also try to keep the dough as cool as possible before it hits the tawa… This should make a difference, let me know :) Yeast may change the taste too much and make it a little ‘breadier’. Let me know! Best Wishes :)

  • belle

    Hey Sarina;
    Do you know where I can get a recipe for fried channa or fried split peas? I’ve been trying to make them but the consistency is never the same. I’m either hitting or missing…HELP!!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Belle – you know I’ve never tried to make them myself yet? It’s just so easy to grab and go here :) Let me look into that one for you :)

  • belle

    Hey Sarina;
    Do you know where I can get a recipe for fried channa or fried split peas? I’ve been trying to make them but the consistency is never the same. I’m either hitting or missing…HELP!!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Belle – you know I’ve never tried to make them myself yet? It’s just so easy to grab and go here :) Let me look into that one for you :)

  • june

    Home made bara is made of urdi& flour , one can get ground urdi in the indian shops, any other is purely flour & saffron . My g/ma made these and they were the best ever — the vendors for the price they charge now can surely include this into their dough , really what they offer is not very healthy { the dough I mean } but the channa { chick peas are .
    and guess what my g/ma bara came out thin & soft — guess some just have ” the hand for it”
    Who in the world will use eggs in doubles — Oh PLS no trini uses eggs !! sorry –Wrong way !
    I agree that the pics of the doubles looked thick , doubles do not tasted good when they are that thick — I am a trini , makes it all the time and it is very easy — use saffron in the dough & not curry Powder — also mix a little saffron in the curry for the channa[ CHICKPEAS } pls omit the onion and use garlic & shadow beni {cilantro} with a little geera with the curry paste to cook the chickpeas — DO taste BETTER ! TRUST ME ! mix them all together and fry in alittle oil before adding your chick peas .
    It is not my intention to change the author recipe — but hey ! u got nothing to lose .

  • june

    Home made bara is made of urdi& flour , one can get ground urdi in the indian shops, any other is purely flour & saffron . My g/ma made these and they were the best ever — the vendors for the price they charge now can surely include this into their dough , really what they offer is not very healthy { the dough I mean } but the channa { chick peas are .
    and guess what my g/ma bara came out thin & soft — guess some just have ” the hand for it”
    Who in the world will use eggs in doubles — Oh PLS no trini uses eggs !! sorry –Wrong way !
    I agree that the pics of the doubles looked thick , doubles do not tasted good when they are that thick — I am a trini , makes it all the time and it is very easy — use saffron in the dough & not curry Powder — also mix a little saffron in the curry for the channa[ CHICKPEAS } pls omit the onion and use garlic & shadow beni {cilantro} with a little geera with the curry paste to cook the chickpeas — DO taste BETTER ! TRUST ME ! mix them all together and fry in alittle oil before adding your chick peas .
    It is not my intention to change the author recipe — but hey ! u got nothing to lose .

  • jo

    Thanks for all these wonderful recipies! I have a similar question to lost-n-FL. My husband tells me the standard yellow curry powder the grocery sells here is not the curry he used back home in Trinidad. Can anyone give me a brand or a name that would set apart the ‘correct’ curry powder he might be talking about? Thanks.

  • jo

    Thanks for all these wonderful recipies! I have a similar question to lost-n-FL. My husband tells me the standard yellow curry powder the grocery sells here is not the curry he used back home in Trinidad. Can anyone give me a brand or a name that would set apart the ‘correct’ curry powder he might be talking about? Thanks.

  • jo

    Thank you so much for your response! I will definitely check those out.

  • jo

    Thank you so much for your response! I will definitely check those out.

  • salim

    alluh gettin tie up like market crab …. dat is not how to make ah good dubbles….i never see any1 puttin curry in d bara … but ah no where day commin from .. we doh use curry in d flour we does ues saffron ….

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      The curry is a twist of mine, started when I had run out of saffron. Tastes good ;)

  • salim

    alluh gettin tie up like market crab …. dat is not how to make ah good dubbles….i never see any1 puttin curry in d bara … but ah no where day commin from .. we doh use curry in d flour we does ues saffron ….

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      The curry is a twist of mine, started when I had run out of saffron. Tastes good ;)

  • http://www.crabbylion.blogspot.com Kevin T.

    Me and my 2 year old daughter are sitting here drooling! She was even saying “doubles” with her best Trini accent! LOL…amazing. Great photos, love the blog and I can tell you that my wife and I will be regulars here. Thank you for all your efforts to keep the dull and culinary-handicapped informed.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks for the kind words Kevin! :)

  • http://www.crabbylion.blogspot.com Kevin T.

    Me and my 2 year old daughter are sitting here drooling! She was even saying “doubles” with her best Trini accent! LOL…amazing. Great photos, love the blog and I can tell you that my wife and I will be regulars here. Thank you for all your efforts to keep the dull and culinary-handicapped informed.

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Thanks for the kind words Kevin! :)

  • http://aol.com ladiis4lyfe

    ah so used to eatin doubles wit cucumba and peppa and barely realizes i eatin it fus i so accustom to it so you could put real peppa and i won’t even take ah notice.
    .-= ladiis4lyfe´s last blog ..Teen Survives Ordeal on Ice =-.

  • http://aol.com ladiis4lyfe

    ah so used to eatin doubles wit cucumba and peppa and barely realizes i eatin it fus i so accustom to it so you could put real peppa and i won’t even take ah notice.
    .-= ladiis4lyfe´s last blog ..Teen Survives Ordeal on Ice =-.

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  • nalisha

    thank god for dis trini recipe.i love doubles n wanted to make sum for longest while n am so happy i found the recipe online cuz doubles vendors never tell you how they make them.goig to try sum now n il tell you guies how they came out.

  • nalisha

    thank god for dis trini recipe.i love doubles n wanted to make sum for longest while n am so happy i found the recipe online cuz doubles vendors never tell you how they make them.goig to try sum now n il tell you guies how they came out.

  • Precious

    hi i recently moved to pennsylvania from trinidad i live in Media which is kinda close to philly does anyknow where i can get trinidadian food that taste like trinidadian food? i have a really bad craving for doubles right now!