For Trinidadians everywhere, April is a month of festivities. Prior to Easter Sunday, there is a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and introspection. Many people forego meat during Lent in favor of meals that are primarily plant-based. This custom, called pescatarian, is a way to remember Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Also in the month of April, this year is the Muslim holiday Eid- ul-Fitir. Eid al-Fitr is the festival of breaking the fast that marks the end of Ramadan, the month-long period of fasting and spiritual reflection. On this day, Muslims exchange greetings and gifts, and enjoy festive meals, Sawine being most popular with family and friends. So come along as we investigate the world of Trinidad’s April festivities and its most popular dishes.
Top 3 TRINI MUST-TRY RECIPES for the month of APRIL
1. Trinidad saltfish and provision
Trinidad saltfish and provision is a classic Caribbean dish that is popular for breakfast but can be eaten at any time of the day mostly enjoyed during the Easter holiday. Here’s a recipe and method for making this delicious and hearty dish:
1 pound salted codfish
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
4 medium-sized yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 green bananas, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
Soak the salted codfish in water overnight (or for at least 8 hours) to remove the excess salt. Drain and rinse the fish several times.
In a large pot, boil the yams and green bananas until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and black pepper, and sauté until the onion is translucent.
Add the salted codfish to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes until the fish is heated through.
Add the green onions and scotch bonnet pepper (if using) to the skillet, and cook for another minute or two.
Add the boiled yams and green bananas to the skillet, and stir to combine with the saltfish mixture. Add the butter and stir until it is melted and evenly distributed.
Cook the mixture for a few more minutes until everything is heated through and well combined.
Serve hot, garnished with additional green onions if desired.
Enjoy your Trinidad saltfish and provision!
2. Trini Blackeyed peas Pelau
Trini Blackeyed peas Pelau is a popular one-pot dish in Trinidad and Tobago that is often served during festive occasions. Here’s a recipe and method for making this flavorful and hearty dish:
2 cups parboiled rice
1 can (15 oz) blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 leaves shadow Benne
1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Fresh coconut milk/ 2 packs powdered.
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried Whole Bayleaf
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
Brown sugar in oil.
Add the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, shadow benne, and carrot to the pot, and sauté until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.
Add softened or canned blackeyed peas.
Add tomato paste, cumin, coriander, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper (Optional), and salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine.
Add the rice to the pot, and stir to coat the rice with the vegetable mixture.
Pour the chicken or vegetable broth mixed with fresh coconut milk into the pot, and stir to combine.
Add dried bay leaf.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Simmer the pelau for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Once the pelau is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve hot.
Enjoy your Trini Blackeyed peas Pelau, a delicious and satisfying Trinidadian dish!
Sawine, a traditional sweet vermicelli pudding that is often served during Eid-ul-Fitr in many Muslim communities in Trinidad and Tobago.
1 pound vermicelli noodles
6 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup ghee or butter
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
Break the vermicelli noodles into small pieces (about 2 inches in length) and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the ghee or butter over medium-low heat.
Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaves to the pot, and stir until fragrant.
Add the vermicelli noodles to the pot, and stir well to coat them with the ghee or butter.
Cook the noodles, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and fragrant.
Add the milk, sugar, and salt to the pot, and stir well to combine.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vermicelli noodles are fully cooked and the mixture has thickened.
Add the raisins, almonds, and cashews to the pot, and stir to combine.
Remove the pot from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaves.
Stir in the rosewater (if using).
Let the sawine cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a serving dish.
Chill the sawine in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
Serve the sawine cold, garnished with additional chopped nuts if desired.
Enjoy your sweet and delicious Sawine during Eid-ul-Fitr!
We hope you enjoyed these mouthwatering Trinidad Must Try recipes peak your interest in the month of April. Make sure to follow us for more news and inspiration if you want to find more dishes that you simply must try on a monthly basis. Cooking success!