Best Caribbean Food in Trinidad with Trini Auntie!

After exploring the northern and central parts of Trinidad for the past few days, my friend and I headed to the southern part of the island to meet a woman known as the queen of chulha on Trinidad! She’s a true Trini auntie and makes the best Caribbean food on the island!

My afternoon with Chef Jason Peru and Candice Mohan began in Siparia at Aunty Doll Chulha ke Ranni. Chulha is an earthen clay stove that’s fueled by wood, which flavors the food you cook over it—bread, curries, and more!

Meeting Aunty Doll

Aunty Doll, a local cook who prepares some of the best Caribbean food on the island of Trinidad | Davidsbeenhere

The house was surrounded by bush. The woman here, Aunty Doll, cooks using a chulha, and she sells them. Because the church is made of mud, it conducts heat very well. If you want to make the best Caribbean food around, you have to have one!

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They also put a tawa atop the clulha. I met Aunty Doll and watched her and the other women make a coconut bake, green mango curry, dal roti hops bread, baked chicken, curry duck, baigan choka, chulha curry chicken, pholourie, and more.

Doll served me some pholourie with pommecythere. They were amazing together. I loved the soft texture.

Next was the saheena, or spinach fritter, which she split and added pommecythere on top. The pommecythere is a fruit chutney with garlic added. It’s so good!

They even make a pholourie curry called kurhi, which is super dense! The pholourie is made with split peas and absorbs the liquid. Her homemade hops bread looked like fluffy little pillows!

Making Dal Puri and Pepper Roti

Fresh pepper roti being sliced in Siparia, Trinidad | Davidsbeenhere

Then, she mixed up some dough and water to make dal puri. While she cooked, I learned that Doll has seven children in addition to making the best Caribbean food on the island!

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The mango curry looked amazing. Then, I tried her fresh hops bread with cheese inside. Next, I got to see all of the chulhas she’s made, and one of the girls there ground up some chilies, coconut, and salt into a paste.

Then, I tried the sada roti with the roasted coconut chutney, which was nearly black. It was smoky and had a tiny kick. It was really nice!

Next, she took the ham out of the oven. It smelled amazing! Then, Doll patted and rolled out some dal puri and cooked them on the tawa. Then, she put it underneath so it puffs up and gets even crispier!

 Next, she pulled out a baked chicken pie with macaroni and melted cheese on top. Then, they gave me some pepper roti. It reminded me of some Greek breads I’d had.

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It contains pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, and cheese, and had a kick but wasn’t too spicy. I loved the layers on it!

The Best Caribbean Food on a Banana Leaf

David Hoffmann takes a bite of dal puri while eating the best Caribbean food at Aunty Doll's in Trinidad | Davidsbeenhere

Then, it was time to finally eat the best Caribbean food in town! We had curried chataigne (jackfruit), chana and aloo, kurhi (pholourie curry), murtani (eggplant, onion & tomato curry), chalta anchar (a spicy, condiment made from elephant apple), pommecythere chutney, curried saheena, bhaji (spinach with coconut cream), roasted coconut chutney, mother-in-law (a spicy pepper chutney), pepper roti, dal puri, curried mango, and Trinidad sweet rice (rice pudding).

They served it all on a banana leaf like a sadhya in Kerala! We had 13 different items! The dal puri was flaky, and I loved it with the kurhi. The curried multani was smoky and peppery, as was the curried mango.

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I adored the curried saheena, which was like a thick, dense bread. The curried chataigne was my favorite so far. The pumpkin chouka was like pumpkin pudding, and the bhaji was like a creamy, smoky spinach dip.

More Trini Food

A plate of honey smoked pork, curry duck, common fowl, curried stewed chicken, jeera pork, macaroni pie, and more in Trinidad | Davidsbeenhere

The mother-in-law wasn’t too hot, and the pommel there was great. I also loved the cardamom and cinnamon in the sweet rice!

Round 2 consisted of a juicy honey smoked pork, the fluffy coconut bake, spicy roasted curry duck, meaty common foul, curried stewed chicken (which almost reminded me of jerk chicken), juicy and smoky chulha baked chicken, pungent and fatty jeera pork, and crispy baked macaroni pie with chicken.

What an incredible meal! It really was one of the best Caribbean food experiences I’ve ever had!

Where have you been?

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