How to eat your Auntie’s roti recipe:
- After the two and half hours on simmer, fork the beef and bite into it. The flesh is tender, and you’re ready to take those four potatoes — which are peeled, halved, quartered, etc. — into the pot. Give the potatoes twenty-thirty minutes to get soft.
- Take one package of the Roti Galore plain roti skins. Microwave for forty-five seconds on high an individual skin on a microwave-safe plate. When it’s done, the skin will feel warm and soft. Take the plate over to the pot. Dollop two cooking spoonfuls of the curry onto the skin. Add an extra spoonful just of the gravy. Wrap the roti like a burrito — one hand over, the other hand over, and then folded at the bottoms to keep it all in.
- Take a photo.
- Eat! You can eat it with your hands — it’s the real Trini way, as the oils from your fingers will actually do the food good. Or be Canadian and go at it with a fork and knife, with a little lime hot sauce on the side that you can dip eat biteful into. You’ll have leftovers, and the leftovers will probably be even better.
How to follow through on your Auntie’s roti recipe:
- After the hour is up, take the beef out of the fridge. Sprinkle a bit of curry powder on it, set aside. Mix three heaping spoonfuls of the curry powder with 1/2 cup of cold water. Take all the McCormick’s cumin seed and crush it up in the mortar and pestle. Cover the entire bottom of a pot with the sunflower oil, heat it on high.
- When the oil is hot, take one pealed garlic clove and let it sizzle brown on both sides in the oil. Remove it. But don’t waste it! Spread it on a cracker. Put a dollop of Brie on top. Doesn’t that taste good?
- Add the curry mixture to the hot oil. It’s going to boil like made, so turn the heat way low. Worry a little that it might burn — the last thing you want to do is let it burn. Let it simmer for two minutes. Add a lil’ water, stir constantly.
- Add the drained chickpeas to the pot, toss in all of the crushed cumin seed as well a few pinches of the cumin powder (the recipe encourages you to be ‘generous’). Stir the chickpeas so it’s completely covered in the curry/cumin mixture. Add the meat right after, turn it as well.
- Let it all simmer. For the next two and a half hours, stir periodically, add water as needed to keep the gravy consistent. Be patient.
How to make roti based on your Auntie’s recipe:
- Coordinate part-time a community arts program around Oakwood and Vaughan. Walk over to the Nicey’s Food Mart at the corner before the first session. Buy a bottle of Grace’s Tropical Rhythms Pineapple Ginger juice, a ziploc of kurma, and two packages of Roti Galore plain roti (without the chickpeas).
- Procrastinate for a week and a half.
- On a lazy weekend afternoon, look to see what ingredients you have in your cupboard to make said recipe: garlic cloves, Chatak’s curry masala powder, Unico can of chick peas, McCormick cumin seed, Unico sunflower oil.
- Walk over to your local No Frills for the ingredients you don’t have but need: No Name cumin powder (cause you know the McCormick’s is almost empty), two onions, four potatoes, three habanero peppers, a package of Canadian stewed beef.
- Head back home. Cut up the stewed beef in one inch pieces. Take half an onion, one habanero and a glove of garlic and chop it in the food processor. Add a dash of Maggi’s, a glop of Geeta green seasoning, a drop of Angostura Bitters, the blended onion x habanero x garlic to the beef. In a bowl, let your fingers squeeze the seasoning into the pieces. Worry a little that the one habanero might be too spicey while washing your hands afterwards. Put it in the fridge, let it sit for an hour.