West Indian Doubles

Doubles is a kind of street food, which you can find in Trinidad and Tobago, home of the queens park Savannah, and oval, Brian lara and for a short 2 year period, me too.

The photos come courtesy of Andre Huggins my friend and ex purchase manager and goto person, for anything we needed then..

So this street food, is made from 2 pieces of leavened fried bread called “bara”, which is an evolved indian influenced bread, topped with chick peas “curry “, not in the true sense but made the West indian way called Chana, and sometimes tamarind sauce, sometimes shredded cucumber and almost always with hot pepper sauce(as dem Trinis would say- with plenty peppa boy).

There are many places which claim to serve the best ones, ive had the chnace to taste the one near Piarco airport, and in Woodbrooke on Carlos street run by Georges XXX, and a few other places in Debe and so on.Georges used to be my favourite and was run by his ex wife and was the first place where i got to taste my first doubles.

Heres also a short ditty , which i got from my friend Juliet Robin, who is a musician/ live act singer there.

” From the curry stained white shirt

To the aroma in the air

We take our doubles and scatter

Cuz it have no eating there

May the chana be soft

May the bara be thin

We shall ask not for sweet sauce

cos that is a sin

lay our head down our King

Rest well tonight

For tomorrow comes swiftly

and we want 2 with slight”

slight means a dash of peppa/ or your brave you say i want plenty peppa boi 🙂

The Bara.

Flour- 250 gms

baking powder- 2gms

active dry yeast- 2 gms

sugar-5 gms

salt- 5gms

turmeric- pinch( the locals call this saffron powder );)

oil- 25 ml

water – to make a semi soft dough approximately 175 ml

  • sieve flour and add salt , sugar, baking powder, turmeric and yeast. and make into a soft dough.Add in the oil and leave it to rest.Some people also make this with a mix of milk and water..
  • rest the dough for half an hour, and divide and round up into 8-10 pieces.Rest these for aboout 10 minutes and then roll out not very thin. they need to be able to hold up quite a bit of sauce and juice from the chickpeas.
  • Deep fry these till cooked and drain and use as the base for the chana and various sauces and toppings

The Chana

Soak dry chick peas overnight with pinch of baking soda..Make this in a big batch because you can save some to eat another day.Go berserk( ok dont go berserk, but maybe 250 gms is enough).

The next day wash the soaked chick peas and put to cook with some fresh water and some salt, turmeric , and then a bit of ground coriander and ground cumin(they call this Geera ) and Geera is great for other foods to eat with beers like Geera pork.

I also like to add in a stick of cinnamon and some cloves but thats non traditinal, that the actual West indian in me coming out, ( because im from western india).

Cook till soft and creamy ,

then you make some tamarind chutney, hot peppa sauce and pickled shredded cucumbers and u are ready to rock the Savannah.

In another post I will write about the other great gas inducer Chana Masala..there are so many versions of that too..this one I make at home with my own belnd of spices / not from a packet..

It won’t be exactly as your grandma made it in Purani Delhi but sure as hell will be close enough..