Carnival Season is officially upon us! Happy Carnival 2014! If you’re here in New Orleans, these are great for your next Mardi Gras/Carnival Party and great to take with you on the parade route (see you on the corner of Felicity and St. Charles)!
Doubles are the ultimate street food and quick lunch special in Trinidad. They can be eaten quickly, they’re filling, and more importantly, delicious! Doubles consist of two pieces of fry bake (fried bread), chana (curried chick peas), and an assortment of toppings such as tamarind sauce, pickled cucumbers, chadon beni sauce, chutney, etc. I call these “sister time” doubles because I have the greatest time preparing these with my sister. Making doubles is rather labor intensive, so what better way to spend the time making them than with your sister or whomever you hold dear? This is a great way to get your entire family involved: husband, wife, children, etc. Assign each family member a task. Once it’s time to begin assembling the doubles, turn on some soca music and form an assembly line.
This recipe for doubles actually contains three (3) recipes: fry bake, chana, and chutney. I suggest making the fry bread dough the day before you plan on frying it. You can also make the chutney the day before too. This recipe yields approximately 25-30 pieces of fry bake, 4-6 cups of chana, and 2 cups of chutney.
Ingredients for Chutney
3 green/unripe mangoes
1 bunch chadon beni
4 cloves garlic minced
1 habanero pepper minced
1/2 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions for Chutney
Peel 3 mangoes. Grate mangoes using grater or dice into very small pieces into medium sized bowl. Rise 1 bunch chadon beni and remove stems. Finely chiffanode chadon beni leaves into bowl with grated mango. Add 4 gloves garlic minced and habanero pepper. Add salt and pepper. Taste. If more salt needed add more by the 1/2 teaspoon full as needed. Set aside or store covered in refrigerator.
Ingredients for Chana
1 lb bag chick peas
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 bunch chadon beni steams removed, chiffanode
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon roasted ground geera/cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala OR 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves and 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
2 chicken or vegetable flavored bouillon cubes (Maggi)
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 cloves garlic diced
1 habanero pepper whole
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions for Chana
After sorting through and soaking chick peas overnight, bring chick peas to boil in large heavy pot (fill pot with enough water to cover chick peas) with oil. Cook chick peas until tender (approximately 60-90 minutes), with about 2-3 cups of water/liquid remaining. If all water has been absorbed, then add 2-3 cups water. Next add all dry seasonings (curry, geers/cumin, garam masala, bouillon, and salt) and stir into beans. Add diced garlic, onion, whole habanero pepper. Cook an additional 30 minutes, mashing peas against the side of the pot using the backside of a heavy spoon. Set aside to simmer on low until ready to top doubles.
Ingredients for Fry Bake
1 package dry active yeast
3 cups of all purpose flour (sifted at least 3 times)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1.5 tablespoons of ground tumeric
1 tablespoon minced chadon beni
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups vegetable oil for frying
Directions for making Fry Bread
Place 1 package of dry yeast in 1 cup of warm water to bloom. Allow to bloom for for 15 minutes uncovered.
Meanwhile, sift flour at least three (3) times. This is important because you want your fry bake to be light and fluffy. If not sifted it will be heavy and therefore more similar to roti.
Add baking powder to sifted flour. Pour in yeast mixture, tumeric, chadon beni, and salt. Mix/kneed by hand with floured hands in bowl.
After thoroughly mixed, set aside uncovered for 30 minutes at room temperature uncovered. After 30 minutes pound dough down and kneed again.
Directions for making Doubles
Heat 4-6 cups of vegetable oil in deep heavy pot.
Flour your work space/counter top next to your stove. With floured hands pinch off and roll about a 1 inch ball of dough. Flatten and roll out into very thin disks approximately 2 inches in diameter.
Once oil is hot place fry bake 1 or 2 at a time (depending upon the size of your pot). Fry over medium high heat for 30 seconds per side. When fresh dough is placed in hot oil it will sink to bottom and float to top of oil. When it floats to top flip over and fry additional 30 seconds. Bake will fry very quickly so have dough rolled out and ready to fry immediately. I suggest having someone help you with this step; tag team. See the video below.
Take all fry bake pieces and place dough pieces that are similar in shape together in groups of two (2). You should now have pairs of dough. If you have an odd number, take that piece out and eat it 😉 or simply set aside to use later.
Count up how many pairs of fry bake you have. Tear off wax paper into 12 inch sheets to equal the same amount of fry bake pairs.
Place 2 pieces of fry bake on wax paper. On one piece top with 1/4 cup or 1/2 spoon full of chana. Top chana with tablespoon of chutney. Place second piece of fry bake on top.
Make sure the double is in the center of the wax paper. Fold the wax paper around it to make a “package.” Once wrapped, flip over and repeat with remaining pairs of fry bake. Serve and eat hot. Eat with your hands like a sandwich or use the top piece of fry bake to eat the chana and chutney on the bottom piece. Don’t discard the wax paper, it can be a little messy.