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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Jamaican/West Indian Food Pt IV - A Recipe For Potato and Chickpea-Stuffed Roti

Pain Is Good, Batch #114 Jamaican Hot Sauce, 6.7 fl ozI described what a roti is in a previous post. Here is a recipe for roti. As with many East/West Indian dishes, there are hundreds of variations for the stuffing (usually potatoes and chickpeas). Mine is an East Indian take on a West Indian dish. I also have substituted tortilla shells for the more traditional dalpuri flatbread, which I've had a hard time finding since I moved away from Toronto, Canada (well known worldwide for the West Indian Caribana summer parade/festival, one of the biggest of its kind in the world). While you don't have to use curry powder, roti just has to have some heat: choose your own.

  • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 large potatoes, large-diced
  • Crushed red pepper flake to taste
  • 2 tbsp Mom's Secret Garlic Ginger Paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas. Do not use dried chickpeas unless you've soaked them thoroughly overnight, and they've softened considerably.
  • 6 cups of water. (If you eat meat, you can also substitute 2 cups of water with chicken broth.)
  • 2 heaping tbsp turmeric powder. (In East/West Indian groceries, this may be labelled "Haldi", which means yellow powder.)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch, diluted in 1/2 cup of water. Don't forget to dilute by stirring starch and water with a fork, else you'll have lumpy curry.
  • Diced tomato and onions [optional]
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce, preferably a West Indian-style sauce with mango with habanero/scotch bonnet peppers.
  • The largest tortillas you can find: 10"-12" or larger. You can also use East Indian round "paratha" or "chapati" flatbreads, which are easier to find in very large sizes. Whatever you use, make sure that it's thin but not too fragile.

  • In a large cookpot, heat the cooking oil on med high.
  • Add the onions and dried parsley. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the potatoes and red pepper flake. Stir for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the Secret Garlic Ginger Paste, chickpeas, water, turmeric, and curry powder.
  • Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasional to ensure that neither chickpeas nor potatoes stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Take out a potato with a fork. Cut it with the fork. If there is a lot of resistance, let the batch simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Pour and gently stir in the diluted corn starch. Immediately turn off the stove and move the pot off the element.
  • Warm a tortilla or other flatbread just lightly (say 15 seconds in the microwave) but not so that it hardens.
  • Fold the roti into an envelope.
  • Carefully flip the whole roti over so that the seams are on the bottom-side.

  • Serve with peas and rice, and a small salad.
  • Use your hands to eat, or a knife and fork. Caution: Extremely messy, if you're using your hands :D

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://chilimonster.blogspot.com

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