A “ Trini” Adventure (A Habitat for Humanity project in Trinidad)
As a chef, it is always interesting to try the foods of other cultures. I enjoy the more unconventional methods of experiencing the cuisine of other countries and by participating in Habitat for Humanity projects around the world, I have an opportunity to live and eat with the local community rather than the conventional resort or restaurant offerings. One of the Habitat for Humanity trips that my husband and I volunteered in was a project in Trinidad. Trinidad Sweet Rice is one of the dishes that we tried during our time there.
In preparation for any of these trips, we do lots of research into the history of the area and of course lots of investigation of the local cuisine. Trinidad has a blend of many influences which include Indian, Chinese, Creole, Lebanese and African.
We tried dishes such as callaloo (soup), pelau (rice dish), bake (fried bread) and roti (curry dish). As I am also a pastry chef, my research will naturally encompass the sweets of Trinidad and Tobago. Curiosities such as toolum, shaddock candy, tamarind balls, pawpaw balls, and rice desserts were highlighted in my study of Trinidad’s desserts.
After reviewing my pantry supplies, I decided that I would attempt the Trinidad version of rice pudding called “sweet rice” ahead of our trip. The recipe was unusual in that it called for two types of milk that are not typically used in the traditional English rice puddings; evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.
Trinidad Sweet Rice:
This will make approximately 4 – 6 servings
- Water 1 ½ cups
- White rice 3/4 cup
- Evaporated milk 1 tin (approximately 370 ml)
- Sweetened condensed milk 1 tin (300 g)
- Cinnamon stick 1 stick
- Vanilla 1 tsp., or more to taste
- Raisins 2 – 4 Tbsp.
- Put the rice and the water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer the rice until it is soft (approximately 20 minutes until water is absorbed).
- Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, and the cinnamon stick to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat, (stirring to prevent burning) until the mixture has thickened to a custard similar to a pudding.
- Add raisins and vanilla and remove from heat.
- Serve warm or cold
It was fun trying the many savoury and spicy dishes of Trinidad during this Habitat for Humanity project, as well as enjoying some of the desserts and sweets that came our way.
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Oven Temperature Accuracy
As always, if you give this recipe for Trinidad Sweet Rice a try, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback.
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