A Taste Of Home

Served With Chutney

The June Cooks portion of The Daring Kitchen challenge was something I could really sink my teeth into; Chinese dumplings.

The instructions were simple and allowed leeway for creativity; all you had to do was make your own wrappers (no store-bought allowed!)  The filling was completely up to me and only limited by the constraints of my imagination.

Being as I’d already done Chinese-inspired dumplings recently, I made an executive decision and opted to take the challenge in a slightly more ethnic direction.

I’ve had doubles on the brain for about a week now, and as the Everyman and I drove to Dutch Dreams the other day and discussed my lack of them, he asked me the pivotal, if obvious question; if I missed doubles so much, why hadn’t I just made my own?  Good point indeed.

That simple, off the cuff suggestion derailed my original plan of a chorizo and asparagus stuffing, and put me on the doubles train.  For those who aren’t familiar, doubles are a Trinidadian street food made of fried puffy dough that’s covered with curried chana masala (chickpea mix), hot sauce and mango chutney, then topped with another fritter, hence the “doubles” moniker.  My mother’s side of the family happens to be from Trinidad, so doubles were a snack I enjoyed often as a young, wily child.

Flour, Salt And Spices

The dough for doubles was essentially the same as the suggested one for the dumpling skins, so I added the requisite spices and allowed it to rise on the counter.  After an hour and a half it had almost doubled in size and had taken on that familiar yellowish tinge (care of a pinch of turmeric) that I recall so well.

Dumpling Dough

I thwacked it onto my floured counter, used my bench scraper to divide the dough into manageable chunks and set to work rolling out the dumpling skins.

Chana Masala Step 1

In the meantime, I also began working on the rustically comforting filling of chana masala, which is nothing more than a diced onion, a couple garlic cloves, a splash of oil, curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper, chickpeas and hot sauce.  After sautéing the aromatics, some water is added with the chickpeas and simmered until everything is softened and cooked through. Chana Masala Step 2

At that point I chose to lightly mash the filling so it would be easier to stuff into dumpling wrappers.

About To Be Sealed

Next, I took the rolled skins and loosely stuffed them with a heaping teaspoonful of the chana masala.

Tray Of Dumplings

A quick pinch of my fingertips sealed the seams of the dumplings.  They were then placed on a flour-dusted baking sheet to rest while I finished stuffing the balance of the wrappers.

Fried And Crispy

A splash of oil, a hot pan and 20 seconds per side were all that was required to flash fry these succulent, Caribbean dumplings.  A quick draining on paper towel kept the wrappers from being overly greasy or heavy.  Served with a spoonful of mango mint chutney, they were damn near perfect and just what the Foodie ordered!

Here’s the recipe for the chana masala for anyone who’s interested.  The doubles are nothing more than flour, turmeric, cumin, salt, a tiny pinch of yeast and water to moisten.

Foodie’s Chana Masala

1 c. water

1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp curry powder

0.5 tbsp vegetable oil

0.5 tbsp cumin

hot sauce to taste

salt

pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet until near smoking.  Add the garlic, onion and spices and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add water and chickpeas to the pan, reduce heat to low and cover, simmering until soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and mash the chickpeas with a wooden spoon until chunky.  Add hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with roti shells, rice or atop doubles.

Makes enough to stuff 2 dozen double dumplings.

Until next time…

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One Response to “A Taste Of Home”

  1. [...] to me the other day that despite the fact that I’ve spent several years perfecting my doubles technique, I’ve never really given much thought to the condiment that fits so naturally with a double; [...]

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