Kid-friendly Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" + Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread + Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling + Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread + Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

Family Meal Plan: Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" + Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread + Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling + Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread + Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Jenari/Shutterstock.com
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
30 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling

When my adventure-seeking cousin Beth fell for a Tobagonian man, she followed her heart there. She traded the urban hustle of Chicago for the tropical island life, where the temperature is a cool 80 degrees F all year round, and coconuts are as common as seashells. During our visit, we had the joy of spending time with the whole family: Beth, her husband, and their two young kids, Nalin and Leonie. 

Life in their cozy fishing village is refreshingly uncomplicated. The food is amazing and fresh. Coconuts, tomatoes, mangos, cassava—the island provides it all. Instead of bustling supermarkets with frozen food aisles, a shopping trip is a visit to a low-key fruit stand made from plywood and tarps. Here, you can discover treasures like "silk figs"—adorable miniature bananas!

Beth's family eats well in this tropical, fruit-filled paradise. Nalin always seems laser-focused on one thing: Doubles! I can still hear his joyful chant, "dou-bles, dou-bles, dou-bles!" Who could blame him? Doubles, the nation's most beloved street food, is a flavor explosion—a delicious blend of its Caribbean, West African, and East Indian influences! Picture curried chickpeas with sprinkles of cinnamon and fresh cilantro nestled between two slabs of golden, pillowy Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread. Can you taste it?

I couldn't resist capturing Nalin's and Leonie's enthusiasm with a recipe. To complete the experience, I suggest pairing it with the island kids' all-time favorite: Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

For my family, this meal is about family, flavor, and the joy of island living. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and, with every bite, you dream of the beautiful island of Tobago.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • FRESH
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (1/4 C chopped)
  • DAIRY
  • 1 1/2 cups milk **(see allergy subs below)**
  • PANTRY
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T vegetable oil + 1 C for cooking
  • 3 T dark cocoa powder **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 C ice

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • fry :

    to fry in a pan in a small amount of fat.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • shape :

    to form food into a specific shape by hand or with a cutting tool—examples are cutting cookie dough into shapes with cookie cutters, forming bread dough into a roll or crescent shape, and rolling ground meat into a meatball.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • steep :

    to soak a food, like tea, in water or other liquid so as to bring out its flavor.

Equipment Checklist

  • Pitcher
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Small pot
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Tablespoon
  • Slotted spoon or tongs
  • Medium pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
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Ingredients

Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling

  • 1 1/2 to 2 C from 1 15-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) **(for LEGUME ALLERGY sub 2 medium russet potatoes, diced)**
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 C water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 C cilantro, chopped (about 1/4 of a bunch)

Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T vegetable oil + 1 C for cooking
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder

Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

  • 3 T dark cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 C ice

Food Allergen Substitutions

Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling

  • Legume: For 1 1/2 to 2 C chickpeas, substitute 2 medium russet potatoes, diced. The diced potatoes should be tender after cooking for 25 minutes.

Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour.

Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

  • Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk.

Instructions

Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling

1.
intro

A "double" is described as Trinidad's ultimate street food, and I can see why after making this recipe. You'll combine the most simple and crispy bread recipe you can imagine with curried chickpeas for a sloppy and flavor-packed meal.

2.
measure + combine

In a medium pot, have your kids measure and add 1 1/2 to 2 cups chickpeas, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and stir.

3.
mince + simmer

Kid chefs can mince 4 garlic cloves. Then, add the minced garlic and 1 cup of water to the pot. Allow this to simmer for about 20 minutes. While your knives are out, chop about 1/4 bunch cilantro as small as possible to equal 1/4 cup. The cilantro is perfect for sprinkling on top of your doubles.

4.
cool + serve

Remove the chickpeas from the pan and allow the whole mixture to cool for about 5 minutes so that it won't burn your fingers when you eat it sandwich style. Serve this messy, wet chickpea mixture between two pieces of "bara" bread (see Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread recipe) for the ultimate Trini street food.

Sweet "Bara" Fry Bread

1.
measure + combine

Have your kids measure and combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix until a loose, wet ball of dough forms. Be careful to not over mix. This dough will look a bit rough around the edges at this point.

2.
rest + measure

Allow the dough to rest for about 5 minutes. While that is happening, measure 1 cup of vegetable oil and pour it into a small pot. Turn the heat to medium. On a clean cutting board, drip any remaining drops of oil out of the measuring cup onto the board. You will need to flatten the dough using the oiled surface.

3.
shape + fry

Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough onto the cutting board, then, using clean hands, have the kids flatten the double dough as much as possible. Adults can then drop the dough into the hot oil. It cooks for 5 seconds on each side. You read that correctly…5 seconds! If the kids don’t flatten the dough enough, adults should flatten them further. A thick double will not cook. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

4.
cool + smoosh

Allow the fry bread to cool for a few minutes before you serve it with the Savory Chickpea Tobago "Doubles" Filling (see recipe). Spoon a few scoops of the saucy chickpeas between two pieces of "bara" bread (or 1 piece of bread, folded taco-style) and have your kids smoosh them together. Dig in! Enjoy!

Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea

1.
intro

This "tea" is actually quite unique! In this recipe, you treat cocoa powder like you would tea leaves in typical tea. The mixture will steep and then be whisked together to remove all the lumps. It makes for a tasty, ice-cold refreshment.

2.
measure + whisk

Measure and combine 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of cinnamon in a large pitcher. Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups milk. Allow the ingredients to sit together for a few minutes. Then whisk this recipe as much as possible; otherwise, your "tea" will be lumpy.

3.
ice + pour

Divide 2 cups of ice between all of your cups. Then, pour the Trinidadian Tea over the ice. Make sure to say "Cheers!" before sipping your chocolate tea.

Surprise Ingredient: Chickpeas!

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Photo by Halil ibrahim mescioglu/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Chickpea!

"Hmmm, I think I would like you to call me a Chickpea, not a garbanzo bean. Aren't little chicks so cute! You're probably familiar with me if you've ever eaten hummus. It's made with chickpeas! I'm a cute little seed that, when you combine a bunch of us, we can provide an excellent source of protein in your diet!"

History & Etymology

  • Chickpeas are a high-protein legume and the main ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. They may also be called garbanzo beans.
  • Evidence of domesticated chickpeas from about 9,500 years ago has been found in Turkey and the Levant (an area bordering the Mediterranean in Western Asia). 
  • The word "chickpeas" comes from the early 18th century, and earlier was "chiche-pease," which came from late Middle English "chiche," from the Middle French "pois chiche," from the Latin "cicer." 
  • The word "garbanzo" is Spanish for "chickpea," and the word "hummus" is Arabic for "chickpea."

Anatomy 

  • A chickpea is a round, yellow-tan seed that grows in pods on a legume plant that can grow from 8 to 20 inches high. One pod holds two to three seeds. 
  • Chickpeas are grown around the world, and there are dozens of varieties, including a black one from southern Italy called "ceci neri."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Chickpeas taste like a bean, but they also have a nutty flavor, and their texture, when cooked, is described as soft and creamy or buttery. For Middle Eastern dishes, dried chickpeas are often boiled and mashed to make hummus, or they are soaked and then ground into flour to make falafels. 
  • You can add cooked or canned chickpeas to salads, roasted veggies, soups, stews, pasta, or rice dishes. 
  • You can also roast chickpeas and eat them as a snack. In the Middle East, roasted chickpeas are called "leblebi." 

Nutrition

  • Chickpeas provide almost 9 grams of protein in a 3.5-ounce serving. They are available either dried or canned. Because they are high in protein, chickpeas are often added to animal and bird feed. 
  • Chickpeas have loads of dietary fiber! So what is fiber good for? Smooth digestion! It helps the body absorb the vitamins and nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy.
  • Chickpeas are also good sources of folate (vitamin B9), manganese, phosphorus, and iron.

 

What are "Doubles"?

Photo by Global By Gaymes/Shutterstock.com
  • "Doubles" is a popular street food and breakfast dish from the country of Trinidad and Tobago. It was created in 1936 by an Indian man, Emamool Deen, and his wife, Raheman Rasulan Deen, in Princes Town on the island of Trinidad. 
  • It is made with curried "channa" (chickpeas) sandwiched between two "baras" (fried flat dough) and served with pepper sauce, "kuchela" (a spicy pepper relish), or different chutneys (spicy condiments made with fruit or vegetables). 
  • The Deens originally sold the curried channa on one bara but added a second bara by customer request, and the name "doubles" was conceived!

Let's Learn About Trinidad and Tobago!

Photo by Erin Fletter (Erin's cousin and family in Tobago)
  • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the furthest south island country in the Caribbean. It is made up of two major islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and many smaller islands. 
  • Trinidad and Tobago is almost 7 miles from the northeastern coast of Venezuela, a country in South America. The Caribbean Sea is north of the islands, and the Atlantic Ocean is east and south.
  • The capital city is Port of Spain, and the largest city is San Fernando. Both cities are on the island of Trinidad, which is 1,841 square miles. Tobago is 120 square miles. The country's total area is 1,981 square miles, slightly larger than the state of Delaware. The population is over 1.4 million. 
  • The official language is English, which became official in 1823 during British colonization. A local dialect is Trinidadian and Tobagonian English, which developed from British English. Before English, French Creole was predominant. Today, the primary spoken language is an English-based Creole, either Trinidadian Creole or Tobagonian Creole.
  • Initially, the country was made up of indigenous inhabitants, the Arawak people and the Kalinago, who are native to South America and the Caribbean. However, due to their decimation by Spanish and other European conquests and diseases, descendants of enslaved Africans and South Asian immigrants have changed the country's demographics, with settlers from India now making up the largest ethnic group. 
  • The islands are considered an extension of the physical geography of South America. They sit on its continental shelf and were connected to the South American continent thousands of years ago.
  • Trinidad is made up of mountains, plains, rainforests, and swamps. The Northern Range is the largest mountain range, running west to east along the island's north coast. El Cerro del Aripo (Mount Aripo) is the highest peak at 3,084 feet. Waterfalls can be found within the mountains, including two that are 298 feet tall, Blue Basin Falls and Maracas Falls. 
  • Tobago is known for its beaches. It is also mountainous, and its highest point is Pigeon Peak, at 1,800 feet. The island is of volcanic origin, but it does not have any volcanoes on it.
  • Trinidad and Tobago has a tropical climate with two seasons, the dry and the rainy. 
  • The islands' flora and fauna are more related to South American countries than other Caribbean islands. The national flower is the "chaconia" because it blossoms around the time of the country's independence from the United Kingdom.
  • The national birds are the "cocrico" and scarlet ibis. There are several bird sanctuaries, including a hummingbird reserve, and the country is known as the "land of the hummingbird."
  • With large reserves of petroleum and natural gas, those industries dominate the economy, followed by tourism and manufacturing.
  • Since many of the people in the country are descendants of Africans and Indians, those cultures have greatly influenced its cuisine, festivals, dance, music, and religion. Calypso, a style of Caribbean music, was born in Trinidad and Tobago. The "limbo" dance also came from there.
  • A Trinidadian writer of Indian descent, V.S. Naipaul, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.
  • People from Trinidad and Tobago eat a lot of seafood, including crab, lobster, shrimp, flying fish, and tilapia. They also eat beef, chicken, duck, goat, and pork. Much of their seafood and meats are curried or barbecued.  
  • "Doubles" and "roti" are popular street and breakfast foods of Indian origin. "Doubles" consist of curried chickpeas between two "baras" (flat fried rounds of dough) and served with pepper sauce or various chutneys (spreads). "Roti," is a flatbread, served either plain or with "ghee" (clarified butter). Both doubles and roti can also be filled or topped with curried vegetables, seafood, or meats.
  • "Callaloo" is a national dish of African origin that is served with lunch or dinner. It is made with the green leaves of root vegetables, like "dasheen" (taro), and may include coconut milk, curried crab, onions, bell peppers, and spices. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Trinidad and Tobago?

  • Students go to school in Trinidad and Tobago between the ages of 5 and 16. They wear uniforms to class. 
  • Kids may participate in sports like football (soccer), cricket, swimming, track and field, and basketball. 
  • There are several fun activities for kids and their families to enjoy. On the island of Trinidad in Port of Spain, they can visit the Botanical Gardens, see the animals at the Emperor Valley Zoo in Queen's Park Savannah, or picnic in the park. 
  • Kids may want to explore the Gasparee Caves with its Blue Grotto, a clear tidal pool, on the island of Gaspar Grande. 
  • They can float or swim in the Nylon Pool, a clear shallow pool created by a sandbar a few miles from the west coast of the island of Tobago in the Caribbean Sea. However, a boat is needed to get to it. They may also enjoy the beaches on Tobago. 
  • Kids may eat spinach and cheese pies or macaroni pies for breakfast or lunch. For dessert, they may have "cassava pone," a pudding made with grated cassava, coconut, and pumpkin, or "paime" (pay-me), a sweet cornmeal pie rolled in a banana leaf.  
  • Ice cream is also popular, especially coconut and soursop flavors. Soursop is a sweet and sour tropical fruit with a taste described as various combinations of citrus and other tropical fruits, including strawberry, pineapple, mango, coconut, and banana.

Lettuce Joke Around

When does bread rise?

When you yeast expect it to!

That's Berry Funny

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who’s there?" 

"Curry." 

"Curry who?" 

"Curry me in the front door....I’m exhausted!"

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 

Cocoa-Nuts!

THYME for a Laugh

How do you encourage a condiment to win a race? 

Yell "Curry, ketchup!" ("Hurry, catch up!")

The Yolk's On You

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who’s there?" 

"Imogen."

"Imogen who?" 

"I can’t imogen life without chocolate!"

The Yolk's On You

Why did the rooster blush? 

Because it saw a chickpea!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

THYME for a Laugh

What is a mother hen’s favorite plant in the garden? 

The Chickpea!

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