The secret to replicating the street version of Trinidad Doubles is threefold. First, the channa is not heavily curried; in fact, it is seasoned and boiled in much the same way dhal is made. Second, most of the flavor and spice in a doubles comes from the sauces and chutneys that are added. And third, the barra are made with a simple dough. Nothing fancy. The essence of the Trinidad Doubles recipe, we discovered, is economy.
Barra Recipe - Trinidad Doubles Recipe Step 1
Barra are a type of East Indian bread, and there are 2 barra served with each doubles... hence the name, see origin of Trinidad Doubles. This recipe makes approximately 36 barra (18 doubles). At first we thought making barra was the most difficult part of making doubles, but this recipe makes it easy...
4 cups - all purpose flour
2 teaspoons - saffron powder
1 teaspoon - ground geera (cumin, preferable roasted)
3 teaspoons - yeast
½ teaspoon - sugar
1 teaspoon - salt (adjust to taste)
Cranola oil for frying
1 Put 1 cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl, add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Then leave mixture until it swells to twice its size.
2 Combine flour, salt, saffron and geera in a large bowl.
3 Add yeast to flour mixture along with 1¼ cups of water and mix into slightly firm dough. Mix well but try to handle dough as little as possible, cover and let it rise to double its size, then form dough into 36 small balls and then let rise for another 10 to 15 minutes.
4 Take a ball of the barra dough and pat into a flattened 4-inch circle with both hands. If the dough sticks to your hands dampen hands with water. Fry immediately after shaping in hot oil, turning once. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool to room temperature.
Channa Recipe - Trinidad Doubles Recipe Step 2
1 (16oz) tin - channa (chick peas or garbanzo beans)
1 teaspoon - ground coriander
1 tablespoon - ground geera (cumin, preferably roasted)
2 tablespoons - cranola oil
1 small - onion
4 cloves - garlic
2 tablespoons - chive
½ teaspoon - turmeric powder
½ teaspoon each - salt and black pepper (adjust to taste)
1 Dice onion, garlic and chive, keeping each separate.
2 Put oil in a pot along with finely chopped onion and saute on medium heat until onion begins to caramelize.
3 Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4 Add enough water to cover channa by about 1½ inches, and then boil channa until it's very soft. Depending on the type of pot you use, and how often you remove the lid to stir, you may need to add water during this process. When you are finished cooking there must be some liquid left in pot, so don't let it dry out.