trini choka & sada roti
Ok, so I’ve been blogging for a bit now and haven’t really showcased any authentic Trini food yet so I thought when better to start than right now?!
My husband is at home these days and that makes me extremely happy! He loves Indian food (here in Trinidad we have our own brand of Indian food- West Indian- many dishes are derivatives of East Indian dishes brought here by the indentured East Indians and are still vastly popular today. I can’t say that I know the exact history behind sada roti and choka, but I can certainly use my imagination to come up with a story.
Sada roti is very similar to naan if you’ve ever had it. The difference really is that sada is made in such a way that it ends up being a sort of ‘pocket’, similar to a pita pocket. I suppose it was made that way in the past so that people could enjoy it as a sandwich, stuffed with a variety of fillings. Today throughout Trinidad, it serves as a filling breakfast or lunch and is eaten every morning by many West Indians.
Here in Trinidad, when someone claims to be proficient at making sada the first question out of the listener’s mouth is “your sada does swell?” It’s sort of an enigmatic quality for those of us ‘occasional sada makers’. Getting your sada to swell on the tawah (baking stone) is an accomplishment many fail to achieve- no matter how many years they are attempting! Impressively, my sada did in fact, swell!
Choka is a term used to describe any vegetable that is prepared in a particular way- usually with heated oil, onions, garlic and a variety of spices. Traditionally, vegetables like okro (okra), karili(bitter gourd), aloo (potato), tomatoes, bhigan/melongene(eggplant) and bodi(Chinese long beans) are used, but many others like saime, green figs and edoes are also very common. It really depends on what you like and what you have! They are all prepared by either first roasting or sautéing the vegetable and then adding heated oil with garlic/onion. There are many ways to prepare choka and I would gladly debate that there isn’t just one definitive method. Today I prepared ‘fry aloo and salt fish’
I would happily post the recipes for the items I cooked today if anyone comments with the desire to learn these Trinidadian dishes, however I felt like using this post as more of a ‘show and tell’ today rather than another recipe post.
I just couldn’t resist adding in the photo below; my little sweet baby couldn’t resist messing with my food set up, I found it adorable!