Doubles

Ok, you may be wondering what I was up to that kept me back from posting on Wednesday as usual. Well, now you know. Since this is going to be a long post I will have to keep my words to a minimum, but you all know how I love to talk….

The Ultimate Street Food

Doubles is THE ULTIMATE Trini street food. It doesn’t get any better than this: it’s relatively cheap, tasty, wholesome, filling, fresh, piping hot and fits nicely in the palm of your hand.

Eating it comes to be a ritual: bend forward slightly to avoid the filling getting on your clothes; hold doubles opened in one hand while the other picks up the bara filled with the channa and condiments… Or if you find that too messy you can enjoy it like I do… unwrap one side and munch away like a veggie wrap or burrito. Then when you’re finished enjoy a cold coconut water; slight jelly!

Born right here in Trinidad and Tobago of humble beginnings, doubles has now become a staple in our diets and is synonymous with being Trini. Ask any Trinidadian abroad what they do as soon as they reach back home and I’m sure 99.9% will tell you “Get some doubles!”. :-) We just can’t get enough.  All in all, this is our food identity…Italians have their pizza, Mexicans their quesadillas, and us Trinis, we have Doubles.

Here’s Doubles. Enjoy!

 

Doubles Recipe

 

Doubles

DOUBLES

 

Bara
1 lb flour
1 tsp saffron powder (tumeric)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp. oil
oil for frying

Channa
2 cups channa, soaked overnight
10 cups water, for boiling
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. curry
1 tsp. saffron (tumeric)
1 tsp. geera (cumin)
1 tsp. masala
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
5 leaves chadon beni ( bandhania), chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste

 

BARA

Mix all the ingredients dry in a bowl.
Add the water and knead until a smooth dough is formed.
Then add the tablespoon of oil over the dough.
Cover with a cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour
or until double its size.
The dough looks ready now.

Spread a thin layer oil over the surface you’re using
and make little balls about 2 inches in diameter.
Heat the oil over a medium to high flame…

and spread the bara dough with your hands.
Fry on both sides for 7 to 10 seconds
and then drain on paper towels
Note: Usually when the bara is done it is placed in an ice box or cooler. So in a sense the bara is somewhat steaming while on its way to the doubles stand. This, to me, could account for the flattened soft appearance of the bara and also the piping hot doubles that you get when you buy from a doubles vendor.

CHANNA

Soak the channa overnight,
and put to boil.

About 25 minutes later add the baking soda.
Continue boiling for about 30 minutes or until soft.
The channa is ready now.
Heat the oil over a medium flame.
Mix the curry, geera, and masala in 1/4 cup of water and add to the pot.
Then add the onion and garlic,
and saute until golden and the curry is just about to get dry.
Add the channa.
and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour enough water to cover the channa.
When its nearly finished mash a few of the channa to form a sauce.
Mix in the finely chopped chadon beni and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
The finished channa
Ok everything is cooked and ready but how do we eat doubles? I’ll show you.
Overlap two bara on wax paper,
add the channa,
and any condiment of your choice. Here, I have pepper sauce,
chadon beni chutney, mango chutney and pommecythere kuchela.
I couldn’t find space to add coconut chutney and some tambran (tamarind) sauce :-)

Then wrap.
Note: The wrapping was done slowly to show the technique but this is usually done quickly, in one smooth movement.
One doubles to go; with everything!

Hope you enjoyed the doubles recipe. More recipes to come. Bye! Ah gone.

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30 Responses to Doubles

  1. Maria October 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Thank you very nice recipe love the channa

  2. Dram December 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    What is Masala? Where can i get it? Thank you. Looking forward to making Doubles soon!

    • Felix December 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      Masala is a spice. It is short for Amchar masala. You can get it at the supermarket.

  3. Hazel December 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Why do you add the baking soda to the channa?

    • Felix December 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

      That’s a little trick I learnt to help the channa cook faster. Not sure how it works just know it works. :-)

  4. Cheezees December 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    I was missing home last night and decided to make doubles. I could not scarf dem dong fast enough. The ratio of curry to geera and masala seemed a little low though. Is it supposed to read 1 tbsp curry? (instead of 1 tsp?) Anyhow, dis recipe is so fantastic that I am making more doubles again today. If only I could find Peardrax or Apple J in Wisconsin :P

    • Felix December 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

      The Channa is not supposed to be like curry channa where you actually taste the curry more than anything else. But you can add more curry to yours if you like. Let taste decide. Good luck in finding some Peardrax …from Whiteway’s of Whimple :-)

  5. Andrea February 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    This doubles recipe was delicious. My son who was born in the United States had never seen it much less taste one. Now after making it for him, he’s requesting more. I’ll make it again in the summer. Thanks for the recipe which brings back memories of standing in line at the Tunapuna market waiting to order doubles; “gimme plenty a peppa sauce”.

  6. Rashida March 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I just attempted this recipe with the help of my husband we live in St Martin and he only ate it a few times in Trinidad when i saw this site i said i had to try it and it came out perfect i was a little worried about the consistency of the bara but everything came out perfect and my husband can’t stop eating them. I didn’t even have the ingredients for the condiments but next time i’ll be more prepared thank you so much. I am also pregnant and have been craving this forever and now i can finally have it whenever i feel. :)

    • Felix March 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Rashida I’m glad you enjoyed the doubles. And, I’ll continue pumping out great Trini recipes for you and everyone else to try. Thank you for taking the time to write such a heart warming comment. :)

  7. MeowMeow August 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Your little video showing the doubles being wrapped isn’t working. ps… Will be making doubles for the first time tomorrow in celebration of Caribana in Toronto. Woo hoo! Hope your recipe will compete with the place I normally buy from in Scarborough (ACR Roti – weird name).

    • Felix August 6, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      I will look into the video matter. Thanks for the heads up :)

  8. MeowMeow August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    One more thing. I made your recipe and my doubles turned out RED! Any idea why? I can send a photo. Very strange.

    • Felix August 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      The only way I could see that happening is that you used actual saffron which is red and not turmeric.

      • MeowMeow August 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

        Nope…. I used tumeric. Oh well… I guess this shall remain a mystery. Thanks though…

        • Felix August 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

          Now you have me baffled lol!!

          • Adrian Anderson April 5, 2014 at 12:02 am #

            When turmeric is combined with any base it turns red in colour while when turmeric comes in contact with any substance like that of vinegar, that is acidic in nature, it turns yellow. Traditionally in India they made the red powder used in various festivals from alkali/base treated turmeric.

            I don’t know in what proportion she used the turmeric and baking soda (a base) or for how long she kept the dough sitting, lol, but some kinda chemistry went on there.

  9. abby August 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    FYI I have made this recipe lots of times, and I have realized that 1 tsp of saffron is too much. I have lessened it down to 1/4 tsp. This is a true recipe for doubles! Awesome.

    • Felix August 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

      How does it come out with the 1/4 tsp saffron?

      • marissa ali August 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

        i am trying this recipe right now.i am really feeling to eat it,wish me luck

  10. Billydee August 27, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    I’m originally from San Fernando, now live in Princes Town; so I’m accustomed to great authentic doubles. Your recipe is on point! Bless!

  11. Jimmy October 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Hi,

    Thank you for the recipe. Like Meow said above, as soon as I added my beans to my curry/oil mixture in the pot, the whole thing turned RED. I went crazy trying to figure out if I had accidentally cut myself and poured blood into the beans, but realized some kind of reaction just took place. I have no clue what happened.

    Good recipe otherwise.

    • Adrian Anderson April 5, 2014 at 12:06 am #

      Like Meow said above, as soon as I added my beans to my curry/oil mixture in the pot, the whole thing turned RED.

      The baking soda you added to the channa is alkaline. When turmeric comes into contact with an alkali it turns RED. With an acid, it turns back yellow! Try it at home. Lol. Curry had turmeric in it too you know.

  12. Anil November 1, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    nice

  13. Krisia March 31, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    I’m about to make these but I thought I’d reply first to the red curry mystery. I found out years ago that adding baking soda to turmeric turns it red. It’s because the baking soda is alkaline. Rinse the chickpeas or leave out the baking soda if you want it to stay yellow now I’m off to make some doubles!

  14. Jagold April 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    how many doubles does the recipe make can i put the bara in the fridge how long will it last

    • Felix April 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

      Traditionally, doubles is something eaten within a day, but I would say overnight for the most. Microwave to heat. This recipe should yield about 28 baras.

  15. Sue August 5, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Is masala the same as graham masala?
    What is bandahania ?

    • Felix August 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      When I refer to masala it’s amchar masala I’m talking about.

      Bandahania – Chadon Beni

  16. Francisco Comotu October 2, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Thanks(muchisimas gracias)This I have to try,because I have tried different recipes for the bara and could never get it right.{You could play Frisbee with them cause they always stiffen up}If the result is what I am looking for I will surely let you know so thanks again.

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