Trini Aloo Pie

I visited Trinidad several times a few years ago and fell in love with the local food.  The thing I loved most was that it was always freshly made, to order, with the level of spice you wanted.  I remember the skeptical looks when I asked for lots of spice, but I have always loved hot food.  If I cry while I eat it, I am a very happy camper.

My baby sister once kissed me after I ate something and spent the next ten minutes trying to cool her burning lips!

I love cookery books and try to collect them from everywhere I visit.  I was told that in Trinidad there is only one book worth having.  The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook.  It was first published many years ago, but remained the definitive cookery book for Trini cuisine.

I bought one.  I love it.

These Aloo Pies were on sale everywhere.  Along with fried bake, doubles and bara filled with all sorts of things, it was one of the things I sought out regularly. 

Great texture of bread with spiced potato filling.

The best Aloo pies I found were at Mayaro Beach.  Though the amazing beach may well have added something to the already great flavours.  There was a huge table of hot sauces and condiments to choose from once you had received your order, and sliced fresh mango and pineapple.  It was so good.

It was in Trinidad I started to put hot sauce on pizza.  Life changing! 🙂

These pies are so simple to make, and can be as spiced as you like.  The amounts in the recipe are for mild spice.  I up the spice for the ones I am going to eat.

Of course, it is not health food.  It is fried!

But, from time to time, something fried is okay… isn’t it?

This recipe makes a nicely chewy bread filled with spiced potato.  They are good straight from the pan (not that I would ever do that, of course…) and reheat in the oven well later, too. 

Trini Aloo Pies

(Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook)

Serving Size: 9  (I always make 8, instead of 9, as I can evenly divide dough into even numbers but odd numbers are beyond me… Hey, I teach Nursery Class!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp ground geera (cumin)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • oil for frying

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and water and knead lightly.  Set aside to relax, covered with a bowl or wet cloth.

Peel and boil potatoes in salt water until tender.

Mash potatoes well.  Season filling with salt, black pepper, hot pepper and ground geera.

Spiced potato filling

Divide dough into 9 loyah (balls).

Flatten balls into 4inch circles and fill with potato.

Wet one edge with water, fold over and seal, enclosing all potato.

Filled pie, ready to squash and fry.

Flatten pie between hands as much as possible without breaking the seal (they’ll repuff when fried don’t worry!).  I know that this seems strange, but seriously, once you seal the pie put it between your hands and squash it as flat as you can.

Fry in deep oil until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

Trini Aloo Pies.

Advertisements