Doubles is the most popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago by a wide margin. It consists of two fried baras; a type of flatbread from with flour, yeast, and turmeric, slathered with curried garbanzo beans. Just like with bake and shark, the sauces are an important component of doubles, and they include tamarind or mango chutney, pepper sauce, shadon beni, and more.
Trinbagonians typically buy doubles instead of making it at home. This is because they’re an affordable food sold almost everywhere, but also because doubles is difficult to make at home. Many Trinbagonians learnt this first-hand during the Covid 19 Pandemic when food sales were suspended and the collective national craving for doubles had to be satiated by individual cooks all over the country. Even local celebrity chef Wendy Rahamut was heavily criticized a few months into the Covid lock downs for her failed attempt at making doubles.
Many agree that properly learning to make doubles requires the assistance of an established and experienced doubles vendor. This is why Foodie Nation sought the assistance of Sauce Doubles, vendors that they refer to as “pioneers” and “professionals” when it comes to doubles.
Here is the recipe for doubles, via Sauce Doubles and Foodie Nation, be sure to watch the video to properly master the art of making doubles.
For the Bara Dough:
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Yeast
Warm Water (About 1 Cup & 3 Tbsps)
3 Cups Vegetable Oil, plus 1 Tbsp For the Channa
2½ Cups of Water
18 oz Canned Chick Peas (Drained)
5 Cloves Garlic Minced
1½ Tsp Salt
1¼ Tbsp Curry Powder
2 Tbsp Minced Chadon Beni/Culantro
½ Tbsp Geera/Cumin Powder
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1) In medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, turmeric and yeast. Mix to combine.
2) Slowly add warm water little at a time and use your fingers to mix to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.
3) Mix dough until it comes together to a slightly sticky but soft pliable consistency.
4) Knead for 1 minute to bring the dough together in one mass. Dough would be slight moist to the touch. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil atop the dough and rub to ensure the top doesn’t form a scab and cover with tea towel and let sit for 20 minutes.
5) To prepare channa topping, place a medium sauce pan over high heat adding all at once, the water, channa, garlic, salt and curry powder.
6) Stir and bring to a boil uncovered. Cook for 10 minutes then add the geera powder and chadon beni.
7) Cook for an additional 5 minutes until chick peas are cooked and sauce is thickened.
8) Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
9) To cook the fried bara, heat the three cups of oil in a shallow sauce pan to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
10) Lubricate your hands with a little oil and on your countertop lightly.
11) Take golf ball size amount of bara dough and place on the greased countertop and gently use your lubricated hands to stretch out and open all of the dough balls to a thin size.
12) As soon as all are opened out, carefully place one piece of stretched dough into the hot oil and fry using a perforated spoon for 5 seconds on each side until cooked.
13) Place on paper napkins to remove excess oil and continue frying each piece and keep warm in a covered cooler.
14) To serve; place two pieces of fried bara dough, one over lapping the other onto a plate and top with few tablespoons of chick pea topping.
15) Additional condiments to top off your doubles will include, a drizzle of tamarind sauce, chadon beni sauce also a few dashes of Trini pepper sauce and for a fresh element, some grated cucumbers on top.
16) Using your hands, grip a piece of the dough and use that to pick up some of the channa filling with some of the condiments.