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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Caribbean-Style Veggie Roti


Toronto is a mecca for ethnic food and Caribbean food is no exception.  I fell in love with roti shortly after moving here and my love affair continues to this day.  A rich, savoury curry stuffed into a dhal puri (lentil, split pea or chickpea) roti skin?  Yes please!

Around here you can find them in almost every variety, from the traditional (goat, chicken, beef, shrimp or chickpea) to the not-so-traditional (tofu, spinach and squash, etc.).  Some are super spicy, some not at all.  But that's what's so awesome, they are pretty easy to make, AND can be customized to your liking.

Now, if you are super ambitious, you can make your own roti skin, or, if you live in Toronto, you can purchase some authentic ones at any of the Caribbean grocery stores around town.  Or, if you are lazy, like me, just use a whole grain wrap or tortilla as your skin.

This recipe does not have to be followed to the letter.  Sub your own favorite protein and veggie choices, and season to taste.  Chickpea just happens to be my favorite and I used what veggies I had available.  This is one of the few vegan recipes I make that Adam also adores, so that definitely makes it a winner in my book!

Aside from the veggies I have here, other good ones include potato, sweet potato, squash, spinach, kale., etc.  Protein suggestions are: Beef, chicken, shrimp, lentils, tofu, tempeh, etc.

Caribbean-Style Veggie Roti

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 tbls Madras curry powder (mild or spicy)
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Caribbean Scotch Bonnet hot sauce, to taste (optional)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
1 pint Brussels sprouts, halved and roasted
2 tbls coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

4-6 large tortillas or roti skins

Saute chickpeas, garlic, ginger, onion and all the veggies except sprouts (unless your sprouts are raw, rather than roasted) along with the seasonings in the vinegar until they soften.  Add coconut milk powder and turn heat to low.  Check seasoning.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add roasted sprouts, if using, and coconut flour to thicken up gravy.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Take desired amount of filling and place in the centre of skin or tortilla, fold in all 4 sides over filling to form a square.  Flip over onto plate and spoon more filling over top, if desired.  Serves 4-6.  Leftover filling may be frozen.

This recipe was submitted to Diet, Dessert & Dogs' Wellness Weekend.