Week 38. Trinidad & Tobago. Buss up Shut w/ Caribbean Chicken Curry

This dish was by far the most labour intensive so far but for me is the current taste leader. I absolutely loved it.

I have been to both Trinidad and Tobago before. About 15 years ago I went there with my parents, brother and sister and had an amazing time on Rex Turtle Beach in Tobago. My dad and I were also lucky enough to get over to Trinidad to watch a One Day International between England and The West Indies. It was a day I will never forget as it involved a Private Jet, a Limo on the Runway, 8 hours of dancing West Indians, 20 Carib Beers, Jerk Chicken, people selling foam to sit on and taking the piss out of me when I bought two, a lady getting smashed in the nose with the ball and a brilliant game of cricket – all for $100.

Both Trinidad and Tobago are stunning. The Caribbean you see in holiday magazines is true and the people are warm and fun. I remember playing cricket on the beach with a dreadlocked dude who spent his day lying in a tree above our sunloungers getting me steadily more and more high through passive marijuana smoke.

T&T has many cultural influences and I noticed that when I got to Trinidad more people looked to have East Indian origins. I wanted the dish I was to cook have multi cultural backgrounds so I made a Caribbean Curry which began like a very traditional Indian Curry but then twisted back to the Caribbean with the introduction of Mango, Callaloo (a local vegetable which I managed to find in the Ethnic section in Tesco in Twickenham – gold star for Tesco) and Tamarind Paste.

When I make curries I often find that towards the end they need some sweetness to lift the flavour and in the past I had used sugar. I definitely think the lesson I have taken from this dish is that it can be done with fruit but it can still be subtle. I fear a fruity curry as I am not a fan of sweet with savoury, but just a touch does lift it, and largely dissolve within the bulk of the dish. I thought this curry was delicious and I will make it over and over again.

With the curry I made Buss up Shut which are traditional breads which are crumpled up and as a result look like a “Bust up Shirt” and therefore become Buss up Shut. What a phenomenal name. They were lovely – much like a thin Indian Naan. The best way for me to describe how to make them is with photos.

This is a pic of all the ingredients used.

First of all you need 4 Cups of plain flour, 4 TBSP Baking Powder, 2 TBSP Salt. Mix all together whilst slowly adding the water until you have a dough. Let this to sit in a covered ball for 30 mins. After 30 mins divide the dough into 6 balls.

Roll each ball out into a circle which is the same size as your frying pan (it needs to be non stick). Cut a triangle out of the top.

Brush with melted butter or ghee.

Roll it up into a ball

Tuck the ends in. These balls need to sit again for 1 hour. You have done this to make sure the dough has butter within it which will aid the taste, texture once cooked. After an hour roll it back out into a circle and brush with butter.

Fry with the buttered side down and then brush the top. Flip after about 40 seconds and fry the other side.

Once cooked, squash the sided in.

The squash again. You are done and have your Buss up Shut!

To make the curry:

I made this dish for 5 as I had people around, so you will need to scale this up or down to meet your requirements.

  • 7 large chicken breasts
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Potatoes
  • 1 Large Mango
  • 300g Callaloo
  • 4 TBSP Curry Powder (I used a Rogan Josh Indian Mix)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Tamarind Paste
  • 1 TBSP Carribean Hot Sauce

For the Green Marinade:

  • 4 TBSP Chopped Coriander
  • 4 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • 2 TBSP Chopped Thyme
  • 3 TBSP Chopped Chives

1TBSP Olive Oil to hold the marinade together

Marinade the diced chicken in the green sauce for as long as you have time. Overnight is perfect.

When ready to begin the dish, dice the onions and gently brown in the oil. When the onions are almost brown add the garlic for a couple of minutes. Next add the marinaded chicken and diced potato. Stir for a minute and then add the Curry Powder. Again stir for about 5 minutes before adding the tamarind, hot sauce, mango, callaloo and water.  Season with 2 large pinches of salt and then let the whole dish simmer for 30-40 minutes.

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