Trinidad is a small country in the West Indies where I spent a small part of my life when my Dad was working there. I have some fond memories of this place which include the school, where we lived, friends and also the food. Though it was such a long time ago, my Mom still makes a few dishes which she learned when we were living over there. Even after 20 years, we still enjoy eating them like we used to eat then There are plenty of dishes which are traditionally Trinidadian dishes, but we make only a few like aloo pie, buss up shots, aloo channa, tomato chowka etc.,. at home, in which aloo pie is like an apple pie but with aloo or savory potato filling. Aloo pies look like the south Indian sweet called kajjikayalu which have an outer crispy layer and sweet stuffing inside, this is just the opposite, soft outer covering with savory potato filling.
Buss up shots are nothing but rotis which are made huge and soft and broken up into pieces, thus the name buss up shot or bust up shots which is served in any temples ceremonies or even in weddings, anywhere you go in Trinidad, you are sure to find this simple and yummy food. It is usually eaten with aloo channa. I still remember the flavor of the Trinidadian pelau and the street food called doubles with channa curry. I intend to give these dishes a try very soon. I first will write about the ones which we regularly make at home.
I remember I used to buy hot hot aloo pie from the school cafeteria and mango achaar from the school stores and secretly enjoy them. The way we make at home is probably not authentic but is adapted from it. When I decided to blog about this, I searched online for the actual recipe. It was then when I realized that the way we have always made it at home for the filling that is, is not the traditional way. So here and here is where you can find the traditional recipes, but here is how we make it at home.
For the filling, we use only 5 ingredients, which are mixed together to make the filling. The outer layer is dough made of the all purpose flour and baking powder. It is then fried in oil and savored hot hot!!
It is a simple recipe and takes about an hour from kneading the dough , to making the filling to stuffing the filling and frying them.
For the filling:
3 medium sized potatoes, cooked in microwave or boiled and mashed
1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
6-7 garlic cloves
1/2 cup coriander leaves, packed tightly
8-10 green chillies (depends on your love for spiciness, add more or less)
salt to taste
(Traditionally, black pepper, hot sauce are also added, which we have omitted)
3-4 cups of all purpose flour
2-3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
enough water to knead into dough
(I have seen some recipes with yeast too, but I have never added yeast to my dough)
Knead all the ingredients together into a soft dough and keep aside for atleast 20 min.
Grind the jeera, garlic, coriander leaves and green chillies into a paste and add this to the mashed potato with salt and mix together till evenly mixed.
Take a small golf sized ball of dough, roll it out into an oval shape.
Put some filling in the center of the dough.
Using some water, seal the edges.
When the oil is hot enough (not smoking hot), drop the pies in. They will fluff up and turn golden. Turn over to get even coloring on both sides.
Remove onto a paper napkin.
Serve hot with tomato sauce, chilli sauce, ketchup. Enjoy!!!
Tip: They taste good when fresh and hot. It can be enjoyed as a snack or as a tiffin for lunch or dinner. You can decrease the size and make it an appetizer item.
I like said, I have seen many recipes for aloo pies, but this is how my Mom adapted it 20 years ago and we have enjoyed it this way and how we still make it at home.