As I’ve written in the past Trinidad doubles is the ultimate local street food. It’s cheap. Usually hot/warm. Hearty. Filling. The below video, from the bookmann, is for the old skool style of doubles with 2 bara that form a ‘chickpea sandwich’. These days doubles vendors more often will make one large bara that is then folded over to enclose the curried channa filling. You can see that method in the below video!
One large thin bara may be good for speed and profits but let’s not let the 2 bara method die out either, it is after all how doubles got its name! Plus it’s cute!
By the way, I’ve seen online several people mentioning that their bara tends to come out like fried bake (bready?) … So I should let readers know that done right bara should be spongy and pillowy, light and chewy and very flexible/bendable If you are one of those with fried bake results drop me a line and I’ll try to troubleshoot
(adapted from a recipe in the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon gheera (cumin)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 tsp sugar
Oil for frying
Filling (Curried Channa):
1 14 oz channa, tinned
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tsp ground geera (cumin)
1 tsp Pepper sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, curry powder and gheera.
2. In a separate small bowl place the warm water, sugar and yeast and set to sponge for 5 minutes.
3. To the flour, add the yeast mixture and enough water to make a slightly firm dough.
4. Mix well, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
5. For the filling, heat the oil in a heavy skillet, add onion, garlic and 1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder mixed with 1/4 cup water.
6. Sauté for a few minutes.
7. Add the channa, stir to coat well and cook for five minutes.
8. Add 1 cup water, gheera, salt and pepper; cover, lower heat and simmer until the peas are very soft (20-30 minutes).
9. When the channa is finished it should be moist and soft.
10. Add pepper sauce and season to taste with additional salt if desired.
11. For the bara: The dough should be punched down and allowed to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
12. To shape the bara, take 1 tablespoon of the dough and flatten to a round, 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
NOTE: Pay particular attention to how thin, flat, and oily/sticky these rounds are. If your rounds are thicker, dryer or heavier than this they will -not- come out with the right texture
13. Use oil to moisten palms of your hands so that the dough won’t stick to them
14. Fry the baras in hot oil until puffy (about 15 seconds per side), turn once and drain on kitchen paper
15. When all are cooked, fill with channa by placing a heaping tablespoon of the cooked filling on each bara, covering with another to form a sandwich.
Makes 6 servings