A Jamaican Street Festival

written by Yummy Editorial 23rd May 2018

Famed for their colourful carnivals which long ago spilled out of the confines of their tiny island and rocketed to worldwide fame on the streets of London’s Notting Hill, the Jamaicans know a thing or two about knocking out tear-wrenchingly delicious street food served up for special occasions. For the first ever EatOut Test Kitchen shoot, chef and food stylist Sneha Modi, whips up her unique take on the world’s most tantalising festive culinary offerings.

FESTIVAL DUMPLINGS

Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal or Polenta
  • 3 Tsps baking powder
  • ½ – ¾ Tsps salt
  • 3 Tbsp or more sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsps soft butter
  • 1 cup milk or water adjust water to form soft dough
  • 1 Tsps grated nutmeg spice or vanilla extract
  • Oil for deep-frying
Method
  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Then add butter.
  2. Make a well, add milk, knead dough for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to form soft dough.
  3. Divide dough into 8-10 equal pieces. Set aside for about 10 mins or more
  4. If making festivals shape dough like you would a sausage, by rolling with your hands, as if you are making a log repeat the process until finish.
  5. If making dumplings, shape into biscuits and then lightly flatten dough.
  6. Divide the circles in half and then place a slit on dough.
  7. In a large, saucepan pour vegetable oil, until it is at least 3 inches and place on medium heat until oil is 350 degrees.
  8. Fry until golden brown about 7 minutes or more depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper napkin. Let it cool.

JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 Tsps dried thyme
  • 1 Tsps salt
  • 2 Tsps sugar
  • 1 Tsps ground allspice
  • 1/2 Tsps cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsps nutmeg
  • 1 Tsps black pepper
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet (very hot), or jalapeno (more mild), seeded, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Method
  1. Finely chop scallions, 8 cloves of garlic and 2 de-seeded peppers, then add to a food processor. Stir in brown sugar, spices, thyme, soy sauce, oil, juice of one lime and a splash of Jamaican rum (optional). Blend everything together to a paste.
  2. Massage chicken with marinade, cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, heat the heavy bottom skillet and cook chicken for 20-25 minutes, simmer until the liquid has been half way absorbed into the chicken.
  3. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy accompanied with festival dumplings.

CURRY CHICKPEAS

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 -3 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 Tspss minced garlic
  • 1 Tsps ground allspice
  • 1 Tsps ground nutmeg spice
  • 1½ Tsps smoked paprika
  • 2 Tspss fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 Tsps cumin spice
  • 1 Tsps white pepper.
  • 2 cans of chickpeas drained
  • ½ Tbsp bouillon chicken powder optional
  • 2 cups or more broth or water
  • 1 Tsps cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 Tbsps or more chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste
Method
  1. Heat up large sauce-pan with oil, and add onions, garlic, thyme, cumin spice, all spice, smoked paprika, nutmeg and curry powder, stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes until onions is translucent.
  2. Add stock / water if necessary to prevent any burns.
  3. Next add chickpeas, scotch bonnet pepper, green onion and broth. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until sauce thickens, it might take about 20 minutes or more Throw in some parsley, adjust for salt, pepper and stew consistency.

BARA (SPICY FLAT BREAD)

Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tsps cumin
  • 1 Tsps turmeric
  • 2 Tsps active or dry yeast
  • 1/2 Tsps salt
  • ½ Tsps white pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water or more adjust water to form soft dough
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. In a large bowl combine all-purpose, yeast, salt sugar cumin, turmeric, and yeast. Thoroughly mix.
  2. Add warm water a little at a time until you get to desired consistency – soft- ball. If the dough is too sticky, add some oil to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Knead for about a minute or 2.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Set it in a warm area and let it rise and double in size -approximately 1- 2 hours. Punch down.
  4. Divide in to about 18 or more pieces. These are medium sizes you may make it smaller and divide into walnut sizes.
  5. Place each piece on rolling board or on the palm of your hand, if dough is slightly sticky, oil both sides and roll out flat. Set aside or place directly in frying pan. Repeat with the remainder of the dough
  6. In a large frying pan, pour a couple spoonfulls of vegetable oil, and heat over a medium flame until oil is hot
  7. Fry for about 30 seconds or less on each side. Bara should puff up.
  8. Use a slotted spoon, remove Bara from the pan and place them on napkins to soak up the excess oil.
  9. Serve doubles by placing one Bara on a plate, spooning on Tbsps of the chickpea filling on top.

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