With origins dating back to 1930s Princes Town, a community in southern Trinidad, doubles are a popular snack consisting of chewy bara (fried bread) and saucy channa (curried chickpeas). Which Caribbean island has the best doubles is hotly debated—and a matter of preference—but they can be easily recreated at home and tweaked to suit your tastes.
Recipe: Trinidadian Doubles
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- Canola or vegetable oil, for cooking
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp curry powder or paste (or to taste)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 can (540 mL) chickpeas, drained
- Salt, to taste
- Hot sauce, cilantro, tamarind, chutney or kuchela for serving
1. Place the water in a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for five minutes, until it’s foamy. Add the flour, turmeric and salt, and stir until it forms a dough. Knead for five to eight minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled.
2. Drizzle oil into a skillet on medium-high heat and sauté the onions for three to four minutes. Add the garlic, curry and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the chickpeas and half a can of water. Season with salt, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the chickpeas are soft and the sauce has thickened.
3. To cook the bara, heat about half an inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Tear off egg-sized pieces of the dough and roll each into a four- to six-inch circle. (Don’t flour the countertop—the tacky dough will grip the surface and be easier to roll.) Fry each piece of dough until golden on both sides. To serve, scoop some channa into each bara and serve in pairs, topped with your choice of condiments.
- There’s no need to plate, as doubles are traditionally served on a piece of brown paper.
- Like sandwiches, doubles can be topped with any condiments you prefer.