Tanty Elmina’s Dhal (Trinidadian Yellow Split Peas)

Dhal  (also spelled dal or daal)  is dried lentils or peas that are prepared into a thick stew like soup. It can be eaten by itself, with rice, roti, or as an accompaniment. I often serve dhal  with curry chicken or saltfish buljol.  Dhal is … Continue reading

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread

This recipe for cornbread is much better than any of the popular premixed brands. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon honey and pour over bread for a sweeter taste; although, this cornbread has the perfect amount of sweetness. I prefer cake flour, but all purpose flour will work just as well. This can be prepared in any type of pan, although I prefer a cast iron skillet, which results in a crispy crust. This is perfect for soups, chili, stews, beans, and even for a “country style” breakfast of corn bread and milk.


1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cups fine yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup white sugar (or tubinado)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup 1% or skim milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

3 extra tablespoons vegetable oil for pan

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into pan, ensuring bottom and sides of pan are coated. Place pan in 400 degree F oven.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Whisk in milk, vegetable oil and egg until smooth. Should not be lumpy.

Remove pan from oven. Oil should be hot. Pour batter into hot pan (it should sizzle and sides begin to crisp up immediately).

Bake in 400 degree F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a inserted knife comes out clean.

Remove bread from oven and immediately rub hot bread with 4 tablespoons of butter. Place bread back into oven for another 2-3 minutes allowing butter to soak into bread.

Serve warm. Serves 7-10.


Braised Cabbage and Kale

Perfect side accompaniment for almost any meal. Easy to prepare at the last minute. Vegetarian and vegan friendly by removing the bouillon from the list of ingredients.


1 medium cabbage, sliced thinly/ julienned
1 large bag of fresh chopped kale or 2 bunches kale
1 red bell pepper julienned
2 carrots peeled and cut thin (using mandolin)
1 yellow onion sliced thinly
2 whole habanero peppers
1 tablespoon EVOO or garlic infused EVOO
1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt


In heavy pot add olive oil. Heat to medium heat.

Add onions and bell peppers. Cook on medium low for 5 minutes.

Add habanero peppers and carrots (if carrots aren’t julienned then add with onions and peppers).

Immediately add half of kale, that has been washed. Increase heat to medium high. Put top on pot. Cook until kale begins to decrease in mass mixing with other ingredients.

Add 1/2 of chicken bouillon and 1/2 of cabbage, which has been thoroughly rinsed and drained. Mix with ingredients already in pot. Put top on pot. Cook for 2-4 minutes.

Add remaining kale, cabbage, and salt/pepper and stir. Cover again and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Cabbage/kale mixture is finished when all greens are slightly wilted and tender.

When serving be careful not to serve the habanero peppers which have burst during the steaming/cooking process.