Food and Emotions (The Veggie Roti)
Today we will speak about a favourite comfort food of mine Roti and for me and many people roti is just not the flat bread it is the dish. This is the problem here because so many people think roti is just a flat bread it makes the dish seem boring but imagine a flat bread stuffed with spicy seasoned split peas , then filled with curried pumpkin and potato, shredded curry chicken strips, saute eggplant and curried chick peas…does that sound interesting now? When I eat a well prepared roti even by myself or others I go through a series of emotions from each bite I take. There is so much flavour in each bite sometimes too much flavour I sometimes feel nostalgic, happy and sad that this dish even exist and that it can bring me to my knees. Now roti is folded in a parcel click here and see my older post and is eaten in the hand or it can be eaten with a knife and fork. I must have roti with pepper sauce and if you notice there is this orange reddish pepper sauce at the top of the eggplant and we will get into pepper sauce next week and the different sauces from some islands. This is a pepper sauce I had for almost 2 years and it is a Guyanese pepper sauce recipe that Cynthia gave me and boy is it something! I will save the talk about pepper sauces for my later posts!
Taymer what is Roti??
For those who have not been listening roti is a west indian or Indian flat bread or it can be the flat bread with spicy flavourful fillings. My favourite roti is the dal puri roti and when made well the roti has two layers with split peas in the middle. The split peas are half cooked then dried and pulsed with garlic, cilantro, hot peppers , cumin and salt and them stuffed into the dough and rolled flat. As you know roti is not a vegan food but many people offer veggie rotis with chickpeas sometimes TVP chunks or just a collection of vegetables. Every time I make roti it comes out different. I fall in and out of love with the fillings and it is always a learning process for me. When I go home I log my roti stops and I enjoy roti tours and always enjoy finding a new roti place.
Guess what my lunch guest that I serve the chow mein too came back again to have a chat and I was making roti skins the same time and we say roti skins in the Caribbean I do not hear roti bread too often but you can say that if the word skins make you feel all weird inside. So my guest apparently went into the emotional rollercoaster I have when I eat a freshly made roti skin. The flavour is so good and the flaky bread melts i your mouth and one has the close the eyes just to savour it. Well made roti skins are in a league of their own. Roti skins are perfected by nationals from Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana due to the Indo- Caribbean population. In Barbados we get fast food rotis which the skins are very thin and plain but there are Trini and Guyanese roti shops these days where you can find authentic roti.
Here are some “flower” shots of the roti skin you can see the layered dough with the seasoned split peas. The last shot is the folded roti with all the goodness inside…oh yums. The aroma was just making me swoon as I shot this! “Roti ya bad”. I was actually waiting till I got back home to Barbados to blog about a roti shop on the island but I did not have roti in many months and I started getting crazy eyed and desperate even asking to go to this run down restaurant that sells sub standard rotis here in the French West Indies.
Oh you wonder how I cook the roti right. I cook it on a tawa and maybe if you guys are good I can get one and put it up for a giveaway but you must show u are really desperate for a tawa. Here is my tawa my friend in Barbados got for me when I thought getting one was impossible. You can get tawas online at many Trinidadian online stores. I go for the traditional one that turns ugly beautiful after a few uses.
Here is a shot of the 6 roti skins I made. I made these yesterday put them in the fridge and heat them up because if I make over 3 fillings for my roti it becomes too much work to do roti skins and multiple fillings and I feel really beat up at the end of the process. This roti the star was the pumpkin and potato curry. The Calabaza squash I use (which is called pumpkin in the Caribbean) was sweet and contrasted well with the spicy sauce it was cooked in. The skins were on point as well and I had to eat the first skin of the batch which turned out to be the best looking one!
Now what dish makes you swoon, cry, get happy … or just get all emotional when you eat it?
Ok I am off to make a special Barbadian Rum Shop eat.