Nikisha’s Roti Shop, Dorchester

After a break in January we reconvened our NRT outings this past week with a trip to Nikisha’s Roti Shop in Dorchester.  As is the case with most Trinidadian roti shops, it is a simple storefront with counter service.  A few of us arrived right at 7pm and were greeted by Niki.  She mentioned that she was going to close at 7:30pm since it was a slow night.  We told her that there were others coming and she said she would wait for us.

While we waited for the others to trickle in we ordered some doubles.  They were delicious!  Maybe the best doubles I have had!  Since she makes them slow and methodically, as compared to the rushed street vendors, the proportion of channa to bara is much more satisfying.  The curries are all prepared and kept in warming trays but the rotis and buss-up-shut are made fresh.

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Shark, Really?

Some foods or dishes are associated with a particular place or activity. A perfect example of this is Bake and Shark at Maracas Beach in Trinidad. Maracas Beach is a beautiful beach on the north shore of Trinidad. The most important feature of Maracas Beach is the many Bake and Shark huts. Bake and Shark is a Trinidadian dish consists of a piece of deep fried shark served in deep fried bread called ‘bake’. The shark is typically marinated in a combination of herbs, garlic and lime juice. The ‘bake’ is doughy bread similar to Native American fry bread which is found the Southwest such as Arizona and New Mexico.

The key to this simple sandwich is the variety of condiments and toppings it can be dressed with. Each hut has a table of toppings such as tamarind chutney, chadon bene (cilantro) chutney, hot pepper sauce, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, fresh mango (sour mango) chutney, mayonnaise, mustard sauce and mango kutchela (a mango pickle). My favorites are the chadon bene sauce and garlic sauce. No trip to Maracas Beach is complete without a stop for Bake and Shark dressed to perfection!

Double up on Doubles

This past week we were in Trinidad visiting G’s family and one local dish which cannot be missed is doubles. Doubles is a street food in Trinidad and Tobago which is a sandwich made with two fried breads called ‘bara’, hence the name doubles, and is filled with curried garbanzo beans or channa. It is served with pepper sauce, ‘slight’ (a dash) to as much as you want! It is one of the most popular fast foods in Trinidad and is typically eaten for breakfast or as a late night snack.

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