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Traditional Bajan Recipes (Barbados)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
If you were wondering about the word "Bajan", that is what Barbadians call themselves. After going on job interviews in this country and having people stare at the "Barbarian" I only write Bajan on employment forms. Saves a lot of misunderstandings.

Let's see if you can find similarities between our food and the rest of the Caribbean & Latin America. :lol:

Traditional Bajan Food

Foods of the West Indies

It's nice to learn about other countries, is it not? Im still learning alot about american cuisine. Ive developed a fondness for apple pie :)
Jodi


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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #2 of 17
FYI: the new issue (April 2002) of Saveur has an article entitled: "A Bahamas Village Welcome." It includes recipes for Conch Fritters, "Cherokee Sound White Bread," Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Souse, Conch Salad, and Baked Grouper. It's not on their website (Saveur) yet, though.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Just thought I'd Post this here too :)

Bajan cooking is a simple fare. Not the intricate dishes and involved flavors that you will find at many of the island restaurants that claim to offer "local" food. Our food revolves around simplicity, what ingredients are at hand in that point in time and what substitues you can use if you do not. Every household stocks up on the basic staples: flour, sugar, rice, peas and salt. There is also a cache of ingredients and products that are also stored in the kitchen after buying the staples: ketchup, tomato paste, gravy master, accent, Indian Head Curry Powder, Mello Cream (its like a baking/cooking margarine), shortening, Ecaf Mixed Essence, elbow macaroni, chow mein and canned mixed vegetables. There are farms all over Barbados and some still maintain a backyard vegetable garden. Most people will go to the supermarket once a month to buy about $100 or more worth of meat. Once upon a time, you would get chicken from someone who had them.

Sunday dinner was the most elaborate meal of the week. My grandmother would make soup; Lentil with Ham (a substitute would be pigtail or trotters), Fish soup, Green/Yellow Splitpea Soup or Vegetable soup with chunks of pumpkin and that was just the starter. The main dish could be anything from Fried Chicken, Baked Chicken, Stewed Chicken, Fried Flying Fish (which I spent most of my time cleaning :( ), stewed beef and the list goes on. This would go with Rice & Peas which had still more variations. Pigeon Peas, Black-Eyed Peas, Cow Peas....the list goes on. We had three staple side dishes that are made at dinner throughout the week; coleslaw, a plain salad and pickled cucumber. Other people make potato salad along with these but my grandmother usually just did those three. For drinks we would grab the Coconut Man right before dinner was to be served and mix the water with a full 2 liter soda, to "stretch it a little" as my grandmother always said. Other drinks would be Carrot Juice, Beet Juice (always made me sick...hated that stuff) Plain Coconut Water or Passion Fruit Drink. I was in charge of picking the passion fruit that grew on the vines in our backyard. Dessert would be when the ice cream man or the Snow Cone came around. Or our parents would take us for a walk into town for fresh grapes and pineapple. Cake was reserved for special occasions although my grandmother did make Pone on some Sundays.

There are also dishes that we love that are not made very frequently. These are more reserved for Christmastime. For example, Pudding and Souse. Pudding is made by making a puree of cooked sweet potato (our sweet potato is the purple skinned one in the Spanish Store) and spices then stuffing this into a pig intestine. The Souse is pickled Pigs Ears and Tails with minced onion, salt, pepper, chopped cucumber and a few splashes of hot sauce.

Bajan Black Pudding

Grated Sweet Potato
A little bit of brown sugar (preferably the kind from the Asian Markets or West Indian Markets..see Flatbush)
Thyme
Burnt Sugar Coloring
Finely Chopped Onion
Finely Chopped Hot Pepper
Finely Chopped Chives*
Little bit of butter for moisture

Mix together well and stuff intestines to make sausage. Don't stuff the skins too full, about half way or 3/4 is good, since they will expand when cooked. Tie off the ends with kitchen cord and coil sausage at the bottom of pot. Cook in plain water till done.

Note: You can use Shallots or Scallions in place of Chives.

Lil bit of History: This is a variation on Haggis. We have scots on the island and you can hear a little scottish when Bajan's speak. Especially when said Bajan is cussing you into next Sunday. :D We like to say "shite" alot.

Here is where you will find the substitutions:

Burnt Sugar Flavoring is the substitution for the Pig's Blood and Sweet Potato is the substitution for the Millet or grain called for in the original recipe.


Souse

Pig Ears or Pig Feet or Pig Tail or Pig Snout or a variety of any
Piece of Pork chopped fine
Grated Cucumber
Lime Juice
Salt to taste
Finely Chopped Hot Pepper
Finely Chopped Onion
Shredded Parsley Leaf (not alot mainly for garnish)

Boil Pig Ears and pork in plain water until done, (you do not have to season the water since you will be pickling the pig), making sure to skim away the scum while cooking. Drain water and rinse well. Cool and refrigerate. Must be cold when you put then in the pickle.

Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl. Slice Pig Ears into ribbons. All pieces should be around bite size. Add Pig Ears and Pork to the bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. This must be refrigerated for a few hours before you can eat it.

These two recipes are served together as Puddin' n Souse....

Jodi

BTW: These are my personal recipes in case anyone was worrying about copyright etc. Ive said this on the other board Im on....there are no accurate measurements in bajan cooking. We just cook.
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #4 of 17
Jodi,

Can you believe Indian Head Curry Powder is available in Montreal? Mmmmmakes me soooooo happy :lips:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
It is?? Lucky you! :D I always ask my mum to get me some when she takes a trip to brooklyn.
Jodi


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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #6 of 17
But what is it?
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
In depth Information on Curry Powder

It's basically a pre-made spice mix.
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #8 of 17
I know what curry is but I never heard of head curry. What is it? Is it just a brand or something else altogether?
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ooops :blush:.....sorry thought you were asking what curry was. :blush: Indian Head Curry is a brand of curry. It comes in a plastic package with an Indian Head on it. It is used by many West Indians....well...Indian Head and Ecaf brands....and can be found in most Asian markets in Brooklyn. :) Hope this helps. Maybe Kimmie can tell us where in Montreal she found the Indian Head Curry.
Jodi


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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes...I read this. I also looked up the article on Plantain. Maybe one day Ill buy a subscription to Sauver. Until then....Ill keep reading their online version. :)

Does anyone know if Food Arts has a website? I keep getting Food & Wine.
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #11 of 17
Thanks Shawty, I thought it was a special kind of curry.


I think I know where I can find it.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
Reply
post #12 of 17

Hi!

 

Has anyone ever tried brining a whole chicken before baking it Bajan-style? Maybe a chef can respond on whether or not this is a good idea or if I should stick to the traditional lime and salt.

 

Thanks

bim33

post #13 of 17

This thread is 8 years old!wink.gif

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

This thread is 8 years old!wink.gif


Yes, and I still miss Shawtycat. Though she'd probably be horrified that I'm a mod now.

post #15 of 17

Waaay before my time, phatch !

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bim33 View Post

Hi!

 

Has anyone ever tried brining a whole chicken before baking it Bajan-style? Maybe a chef can respond on whether or not this is a good idea or if I should stick to the traditional lime and salt.

 

Thanks

bim33

 

I would agree with that, I'm not a chef but I know how to cook tasty foods. This kind of preparation is very effective even if it will not be in a bajan-style. :)
 

post #17 of 17

 

I enjoy making and eating souse. 
I was introduced to it 20 years ago by a Bajan mother who's children had all flown the coup but she continued to cook for them so she was always wanting us to visit to eat. What a lovely person she was - Sadly no longer with us.
 
I loved the Souse she made and since I have worked out my own recipe and method.
 
Makes about 10 servings
 
You will need:
For the dish
two whole pigs trotters (feet) cleaned 
two large cucumbers
4 large limes
one large sweet onion (nice if it's a red one)
a couple of pieces of garlic
two scotch bonnet peppers (I like it HOT!!) (if they're red ones it adds to the colour)
a tablespoonful of black pepper corns
a teaspoon of salt
about 1.5 pints of de-chlorinated water
For the preparation
half a dozen bay leaves
a teaspoon of coriander seeds
 
Method
Using a large pan or preferably a pressure cooker cover the trotters in water and bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Drain off all the water and replace with fresh cold water to cover the trotters along with the bay leaves half the black pepper corns and the coriander seeds.
Bring to the boil and pressure cook at a low pressure for 50 mins. 
Pigs feet tend to smell a little strange when being boiled but I have found the addition of bay, black pepper and coriander seed improves the aroma greatly.
 
While the trotters are cooking add to a large glass bowl the onion very finely sliced, sliced is better than chopped here because it becomes part of the texture of the dish.
Using a pestle and mortar grind the salt, the remaining pepper corns, the garlic and the scotch bonnet peppers together until a fine paste. Add this paste to the sliced onion in the bowl.
Extract all the juice from the 4 limes and add it to the bowl.
Chop one of the cucumbers keeping all the juice and add to the mix in the bowl
Now comes a messy (but enjoyable) part, using gloved hands (because of the chillies) squeeze together the mixture as tight as you can. This has the effect of pickling the onions with the lime juice so removing the strong raw onion flavour, and releases all the cucumber juice which is a major factor in the overall flavour of this dish. If you don’t do this part your dish will not be the same.
 
Once the trotters have finished cooking rinse under cold water and when cool remove all the bones, chop the meat into small pieces and add to the bowl.
finely slice the second cucumber and add the slices to the mix.
Cover the entire mixture with cold bottled water (or water that has been de-chlorinated) stir well and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
 
I like to serve it as a starter but of course just enjoy!
 

 

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