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2020.04.10

The Caribbean Curry


To be quite honest, I didn’t know that curry is present in Caribbean cuisine. Then I dug into the history and found out that it exists, and is also one of the most popular dishes in the region. 

In this region of the world, curry has a different story. It tracks back to the mid-1800s after the British Empire freed more than 800,000 Africans slaves around the world. During this period, liberated slaves were no longer willing to work in harsh conditions in plantation so to make up for the labor shortage, the British empire contracted labors from the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka). 

This mass migration produced new cooking techniques, ingredients and curries as well.

Due to the labors missing there “home-cooking” they started to introduce and cook different curry dishes with local ingredients.  

In Trinidad, a lot of the population are of Indian descent, around 40%. Certainly, we can guess Trinidadian cuisine is highly influenced by Indian cooking, however, we can find a wide variety of dishes. Buss-up-shat is one of the popular street food, which resembles the flaky roti. It is often found at parties, weddings or different celebrations. No matter the occasion, you can enjoy the roti with your hands. It goes very well with side dishes such as carried chana or even plain, it tastes amazing. 

Photo Credit (SBS Food Channel 33,2019)
https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/08/21/trini-roti-bread-youll-want-eat-all-day-every-day

Guyana a small country positioned in the northeast of South America(formerly British Guyana).Their cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine. Gilbaka Fish curry and vegetables are a must-try in this country. Gilbaka is a saltwater fish that belongs to the catfish family. Its found on the muddy sea bottoms of coastal rivers of Guyana. The texture of the fish is quite meaty and has thick skin. When preparing this curry, green mango is also added to the dish. 

Photo credit ALICA`S PEPPERPOT 2012
https://www.alicaspepperpot.com/guyanese-gilbaka-fish-curry/

In Jamaica, we can find the traditional Indian foods such as “Curry Goat”, roti and callaloo. Curry goat is served on festive occasions and is cooked with curry powder and scotch bonnet chillies in coconut milk.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer, at Simply Recipes 
https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/jamaican_goat_curry/