Guyanese Cuisine

Guyanese cuisine is composed of the many cultures that inhabit the country. The influential Cultures include; African, East Indian, Portuguese, and Chinese. The most popular Guyanese dishes I have come across over the past month include pepperpot, roti and curry, chow mein, meta gee (dumplings made from cornflour, eddews, yams, cassava and plantains cooked in coconut milk and grated coconut), and cook up, a one-pot meal that can include any favourite meats or vegetables.

Out of all the amazing dishes I have tried so far I have decided to list my favourite 3 dishes and the recipes on how to make them. I can honestly say I have not mastered making any of these yet however I am well on my way. Hopefully by the time I return in 6 months I will have mastered the Caribbean Cooking and will be able to share with my friends and family.

For now my friends and family back home, consider yourself lucky for not having to be the taste testers during the learning stages of my Guyanese cooking experiences. My fellow Guyanese co-workers and friends thank you for attempting my cooking and being my taste testers, I can only improve from here 🙂

Rotti: Puri, flat, fried roti., this flat bread is delicious with curries, or a sweet mango jam curry

Ingredients:

4 cups all purpose flour + more for rolling

1/4 cup of Ghee

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup of lukewarm water (note that more or less water may be needed.)

Ghee and oil for frying

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar.

2.Mix in the ghee, and rub well so it resembles coarse crumbs.

3.Add the water in slowly, and mix well until you get a smooth, NOT sticky, soft dough. (as mentioned, more or less water may be needed)

4.Knead for 1-2 minutes(if dough is sticky, add a little more flour, if its too dry, add more water)

5.Smear some ghee over the top of the dough, and leave it to soak for 30 minutes.

6.Break the dough into 35-40 small, equal sized balls, about golf ball sized.

7.In a large  frying pan, fill it with 2 inches of ghee, and 1 cup of oil, heat on medium heat.

8.Dust each loyah ball in flour, and roll to a thin circle.

9. Stack 2 puri on top of each other.

10. When the ghee/oil mixture is hot, fry 1 puri stack at a time. They will fry very quickly, so when they begin to puff up and rise in the ghee, quickly flip over.

11. Drain the puri on a paper towel, and stack the cooked puri’s on top each other.

12. When finished frying, wipe the ghee from the puri’s so they will not be too greasy.

13. Serve hot with sweets, or vegetable curry

Vegetarian Curry; my Canadian friend Elizabeth and I tested this out one night, we used carrots, peppers, eggplant, bok choy and onions instead of beef.

 Ingrediants
3/4 teaspoon salt dash of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon roasted Geera (powder)
2 table spoon curry powder (madras)
1 onion separated (1/2s) – diced
2-3 cloves of garlic – crushed/chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
2 cups water
1 tomato diced
1 tablespoon green seasoning
2 leaves of shado beni (shandon beni)
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1/4 hot pepper
1 lime or lemon (juice) to wash the cubed beef before seasoning

Tip: If you don’t have the green seasoning, simply use 1 scallion chopped, a pimento pepper if you have access to one, 1 table-spoon thyme, 1 table-spoon celery chopped fine, 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Directions

1.) In a heavy pot, heat the oil on medium to high heat, then add choice of vegetables, onion, garlic and pieces of hot pepper. In the meantime, in a small bowl put the curry powder and add 2 table spoons of water. Stir to form a paste. Then add this paste to the semi cooked  vegetables/onion / garlic and allow this to cook for a few minutes.

2.) Bring it to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat to low and add 2 cups of water.

3.)Allow this to cook for about 25 minutes covered, then remove the cover and turn the heat back up to high. Stir so it doesn’t and when boiling starts reduce the heat back to low and let sit for 20 minuets.

 The Yummy Pinetart

Ingredients:

Pastry:

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
Pastry:
4 cups flour
1 1/3 cup margarine
6 tbsp water

Filling:

1 20 oz can pineapple chunks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch salt

Directions:

For Pastry:

1.To make pastry, mix margarine into flour until well combined. Add 6 tbsp of cold water and combine until the flour forms a dough. Chill for at least half an hour.

2.Blend Pineapple chunks in blender with 1/2 of juice from can. Mix blended pineapple, sugar, lemon juice and salt. On a medium fire, cook pineapple for 25 mins until it has thickened. Do not overcook !! Remove from heat and cool before using.

3.Beat one egg yolk with 1 tbsp of water and set aside.

4.Roll pastry to about 1/8 of an inch thick and cut into 6 inch circles

For Filling

1.Place a 1 1/2 tbsp of pineapple filling in the center of the pastry and spread, leaving 1/2 inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

2.Fold one corner of the pastry over the filling like an envelope.

3.Fold other corner, slightly overlapping.

4.Now fold the last corner of the pastry, this should enclose the filling and form a triangle. Pinch the edges close. Brush Pastry with egg wash.

5. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minuets or until golden brown.

I hope that by the end of reading this blog post I have your mouths watering , I know that writing this post has made mine. Happy Cookings!!

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