Do you ever find yourself stuck in a cooking rut, making the same meals over and over again? I was in one when a friend suggested I made some Trinidad street food known as Doubles.
As it was something I’d never tasted before, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to expand my cooking knowledge and try something new.
The name comes from the way the food is served, with one Barra (bread) overlapping another, then Channa (chickpeas) and cucumber chutney spooned into the centre. For a better idea check the video below, which contains a little colourful language!
The Trinidad doubles recipe below has been heavily adapted from here, with amounts, ingredients and cooking methods changed to suit my style.
Like all street food it’s cheap to make and works well if made in large batches. I opted to use dried chickpeas as I have a huge bag of them for making hummous, but it does mean you need to soak them.
I’m now on a quest to discover more street food from around the world, so if you have a recipe to share please let me know!
For the Channa
200g dried chickpeas
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp chives, chopped
Salt and pepper
For the Barra (bread)
140ml warm water
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ tsp fast action yeast
275g plain flour
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
Rapeseed oil for frying
For the Chutney
2 large cucumbers
4 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 tbsp chives, chopped
2 chillies, chopped
4 garlic cloved, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper
To make the Channa
Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 24 hours. If you want them to be extra soft, add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the water.
Drain the chickpeas, cover with boiling water and simmer for 1 hour, until cooked, discarding any scum which floats on the top. Rinse and drain under cold running water, place in a clean saucepan and pour in enough water to cover by 1 inch.
Add the rest of the Channa ingredients and gently simmer for an hour or two, or until the chickpeas are nice and soft. There should be some sauce, so add a little extra water if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To make the Barra
Meanwhile, start making the Barra bread by pouring the warm water and sugar into a small bowl and sprinkling with the yeast. Cover with a tea towel and leave until the yeast swells to twice the size, about 15-20 minutes.
Combine the flour, turmeric, cumin and salt in a large bowl, before pouring in the yeast mixture. Combine into a slightly firm dough, before covering with a tea towel and leaving to rise to double the size, about 40-60 minutes.
Punch out the air, before forming the dough into 16 balls. Place them on a board or non-stick parchment, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for a second time.
Lightly oil a non stick frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out a dough ball to a 4 inch circle, before frying in the hot oil. Whilst it’s cooking, roll out the next dough ball.
Cook on both sides before placing on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Leave to cool to room temperature.
To make the chutney
Julienne 1 and a half off the cucumbers and grate the rest. Add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, pour the hot Channa into a bowl and place the Barra on a plate. Bring to the table with the cucumber chutney and some extra lime segments and chopped coriander for a garnish.