It’s come to my attention that fried dumplings isn’t as common as I thought! So I’d like to share how I make it.
In the Caribbean, dumplings are traditionally made to go along with stews and curries. It’s a basic recipe really, flour, water or coconut milk and salt to taste.
My brother-in-law actually showed me how to make fried dumplings and that’s the way I’ve eaten them ever since!
It’s a lot more flavorful than plain dumplings and just smelling it makes my mouth water 😂😂 So here’s what I do, start with a basic recipe for ‘Cow Tongue’ Dumplings
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water or coconut milk
- Mix the dry ingredients together and add water, knead the ingredients to make a firm dough, cover and let rest for 15 mins.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
- Shape and add the dumplings to boiling water for about 10-15 mins, they will float to the top when done.
4. Drain the dumplings. At this point you can eat the dumplings with your favorite stews or curries or smoked herring and saltfish dishes 😋😋😋
But we’re adding some extra oomph!
- Slice 1 small onion
- Mince 3 cloves garlic
- Chop a small handful of cilantro (or shadow benny/ bandania )
- Mince a couple pimento peppers (or you can use Bertie’s Pimento Sauce )
- Half or a whole hot pepper (if you’re brave 😁)
- Golden Ray
- Oil (I like to use avocado, but you can use whichever you like)
- Salt to taste
- Heat a couple of tbsps of oil and about 1 or 2 tbsps of golden Ray in a large frying pan.
- Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, pimento, hot pepper and some salt.
- Let it cook and then add the boiled dumplings and toss to coat and let it fry for a few mins.
- Add your favorite sides and enjoy!!!
Here we have my favorite Indian sweet with a Caribbean twist, goolab jamoon. The fragrant, rich dough is heavenly. It’s the second sweet that I learned make from my mama *grandmother*. Now I’ve visited a couple Indian restaurants in the US and whenever I order the goolab jamoon I get something totally different! It’s these round balls soaked in syrup. Which leads me to believe that the recipe must have changed on its way to the Caribbean from India.
Nevertheless both are deliciously sweet and I can easily eat them all in one sitting 😂😂
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup oil for frying
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
4 cups water
1. Rub butter into the flour, cardamom and powdered milk until crumbly
2. Add the other milks to the flour and knead lightly to combine. * Or use a food processor with dough blade*
3. Form almond shapes about 2 inches long and deep fry until golden brown
4. Boil sugar, ginger and water to a thick syrup (it should spin a thread when the spoon is raised)
5. Pour syrup over the fried goolab jamoon and stir continuously until the sugar crystallizes .
I absolutely love Jamaican food, but jerk pork is one of my favorites, it’s so spicy, savory and juicy and mouth watering and you get the point! Pair this up with some rice and peas and salsa and fried plantains and a couple festivals *a sweet fried dough* and BAM! You’re an islander ha!
The best part is how easy it is to make! My marinade of choice is Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning. I let my pork marinate for a day or more, and then I toss it in the oven at 350 F for 35 mins, and then move the pork to the grill over medium low heat. Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce and let the meat slowly cook and the sauce to caramelize beautifully. Let cool, then cut and serve.
- Country style pork ribs ( you can use chops too)
- Jerk seasoning marinade *I prefer Walkerswood hot and spicy*
- Lime juice
- Wash the pork with lime juice.
- Add 1-2 ozs of marinade per pound of pork.*I love Walkerswood jerk marinade but there are other brands*
- Massage marinade into meat. *please wear gloves if you don’t want your hands to be on fire*
- Let pork marinate for at least 2 hours or over night for intense heat and flavor.
- Bake pork at 350F for 30 mins. Reserve about 1/4 cup of drippings.
- Add the drippings to 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce and reduce.
- Put pork on grill over medium to low heat and baste with your sauce.
- Cook until finished!
Dhal, a staple in Trinidadian cooking. We make this dish alongside curries or to be eaten alone like a soup or with roti *flat bread*. It’s healthy, flavorful and filling.
So funny story, when I was a teenager I was a bit rebellious *What? Really?! No way!*… I know, hard to believe right!? Anyway, my mom was forcing me to learn how to cook and I wanted no part of it, so I was throwing a hissy fit about cooking dhal and deliberately doing it wrong so she would just get mad at me and shoo me away. Well….she didn’t and I got a pot spoon thrown at me and she made me count each grain of dhal *split peas* in the package! Ever since then I’ve hated dhal and refused to make it! *Yeah! I’ll show her!!*
Years later, I’m pregnant and craving dhal and I didn’t know how to make it! According to Caribbean superstition, when you get pregnancy cravings and you don’t satisfy it, your child will be born with a birthmark shaped like what you were craving! And I was not about to have a child with a dhal birthmark on his head! 😁
Luckily my sister Giselle was visiting me and she is the best dhal maker I know *Yeah! Take that mom!!*, so I paid close attention and wrote down this recipe. I like my dhal not too thick and not too runny, just in the middle.
1 cup yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups water
7 grains garlic
1/2 onion chopped (medium)
1/2 habanero pepper ( keep whole if you want the flavor and not the heat)
1/4 tsp saffron powder
2 pimento peppers finely chopped (or you can use jalapeños)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp whole geera (cumin)
1. Soak split peas for a couple hours and drain.
2. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water and then add the peas.
3. Add the 5 garlic grains, onion, peppers and saffron powder.
4. Let boil until peas are very soft and tender.
5. In a small pan, heat oil and add 2 grains garlic and geera, let it brown over low heat.When the garlic is brown, carefully pour the oil mixture into your split peas. (This process is called chunkaying)
6. Whisk the mixture or puree until smooth and add salt to taste (about a tsp)
TIP: If your dhal is too thick you can add hot water until you get to your desired texture.
That salmon was such a jerk but he sure tasted good! hahahaha… what… you don’t get it? It’s ok, it’s an inside Caribbean joke. Nevermind! Ha!
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, and tofu. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt.
It really is so simple to do! My preferred brand of Jerk Marinade is called Walkerswood. You can get mild *no true Caribbean person with self-respect ever buys mild!* or the hot and spicy! You slather the marinade on and let it do its thing for a few hours or overnight, if you dare and then you grill or bake over a medium to low heat until finished. Let it rest a bit and then prepare your taste buds for the spicy, savory, melt in your mouth goodness *insert Homer Simpson drool* Easy peasy!