5 Delightful Caribbean Dishes to Try in Caribbean Carnivals

photo of Caribbean mac and cheese one of the Caribbean dishes

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Caribbean dishes are unique and unlike anything you have ever tasted; meals are frequently influenced by the culture and geography of the islands, and carnival season is an ideal time to sample this delectable food. Whether you like food from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, or Aruba, there’s no denying that this time of the year is full of mouthwatering meals. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to five Caribbean dishes that you should try during the Carnival season. Let’s begin.

What is Baigan Choka?

Baigan choka originated in Trinidad and Tobago and was influenced by Indian workers. The word baigan means eggplants in Hindi, and choka means roasted vegetables, which are the main ingredients in this delightful dish.

The dish is simple but so delicious and it goes well with any meal. It is made up of roasted eggplant, roasted garlic, roasted chili peppers, and roasted tomato that has been seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter.

To make this hearty dish, they peel the roasted eggplant and mince the flesh with the rest of the ingredients. 

The dish is traditionally served with roti, a flatbread. Roti is a bread made from whole wheat flour, salt, oil, and water to make a dough, which is then divided and formed into circles and cooked in a hot pan before being served hot with the delectable baigan choka dish.

Pepper pot 

a photo of pepper pot, one of the Caribbean dishes

What is pepper pot?

Pepper pot stew is a popular dish in Guyana, but it can be found in many islands in the Caribbean like Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Grenada.  

It is a warming dish that is typically made of a type of meat (goat, pork, beef, or oxtail) marinated for a couple of hours in garlic, thyme, ginger, and black pepper cooked and simmered over low heat in a rich dark sauce.

The dark sauce which is the secret of this mouth-watering dish. It consists of cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper, and the main ingredient cassareep which gives the dish its dark color and signature flavor.

Then covered with water and left to simmer for about 3 hours. Then served.

This Caribbean dish is usually served on special occasions with white rice or bread, you can find different versions of the dish on many islands but they all have the same tasty Caribbean spices and the dish is very flavorful and tender, and it is a must-try.

Caribbean Mac and Cheese

What is Caribbean mac and cheese?

A popular meal in Trinidad and Tobago is Caribbean mac and cheese, commonly referred to as Caribbean macaroni pie. The dish, which is unlike any basic mac & cheese you’ve ever had, is typically served at lunch and dinner.

Caribbean mac and cheese is very different from other mac and cheese meals. In this Caribbean variation, the cheese is baked until it melts and gets golden. The components and preparation technique are also unique.

What is Caribbean mac and cheese made of? 

In the traditional Caribbean mac and cheese recipe, macaroni pasta is cooked in a big pot with butter, minced celery, onions, and garlic, evaporated milk, and cheddar cheese. The pasta is then seasoned with mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and other seasonings.

Next it is moved to a baking dish, topped with a thick layer of cheese, and roasted in the oven until golden. The meal is incredibly creamy, hearty, and bursting with spices from the Caribbean.

So this Caribbean meal is for you if you want to attempt a different take on mac and cheese. Especially if you try it on Trinidad, the island where it originated.

Keshi Yena

a photo of keshi yena one of the Caribbean dishes

What is keshi yena?

Keshi yena is a delicacy that every cheese lover must try. The national food of Aruba and Curacao, keshi yena, which translates to “stuffed cheese,” has its origins in the era of slavery. Using the scraps, the slaves created this delicacy, which is today famous in Aruba.

What is keshi yena made of?

The dish’s main ingredients are meat, gouda cheese, and some veggies. Typically, shredded beef or chicken is mixed with sautéed garlic, onions, bell peppers, cocktail onions, tomatoes, capers, raisins, and prunes. Afterward, it was seasoned with ketchup, papaya sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and kecap manis.

After that, they are baked in a small  casserole pot or Dutch oven that has been lined with gouda cheese slices and covered, leaving a space in the middle for the filling. The cheese is then folded over the filling, the pot is covered, it is baked, and then it is served.

It is a delicious treat for cheese lovers as the cheese melts and combines with the filling to create an extraordinary flavor combination packed with all the flavors of Aruba.

Keshi yena is a fantastic, creative, and interesting option for lunch or dinner if you’re seeking something tasty and different.

Jamaican Rice and Peas

When it comes to rice and peas, the Jamaican recipe is unique. It is packed with all the Caribbean flavors mixed together in one pot, it is unlike any dish. 

The dish is made with kidney beans, long-grain white rice, onion, garlic, scallions, thyme, allspice, scotch bonnet, and bell peppers. Seasoned with salt and pepper then simmered in water and unsweetened coconut milk. 

Jamaican rice and peas is one of the dishes that can be enjoyed in countless ways, you can enjoy the dish itself, also if you are vegan the dish is perfect for you as it is flavorful and warming. Also, you can add some kind of protein and enjoy it as a filling dinner. In Jamaica, the dish is traditionally enjoyed as a side dish to oxtail or jerk chicken

If you are looking for a delicious and nutritious meal, the Jamaican rice and peas are worth trying. Not only is it flavorful and spicy but it is a nice addition to any main dish. So next time when you are in the mood for something special, give this flavorful dish a try. 

These are just a few of the excellent foods that originated on the islands, and there are many more to taste as you travel across the Caribbean island. Be sure to sample all the delectable Caribbean dishes while you are there.

If you are looking for good deals, check out flights from Miami to Trinidad 

ticket to Trinidad

For more details, see our blog post about Top All-inclusive Caribbean resorts. 

Also, if you are looking for the cheapest hotels to try these delicious Caribbean dishes, go to Expedia. And make sure to check the most recent Covid-19 updates before you go.

Stop by our IC Caribbean shop to pick up some cool and unique souvenirs for your trip.

While you’re looking at flights and hotels, listen to our latest podcast episode St. Kitts and Nevis with Bing Charles.

Have a wonderful vacation and stay safe!

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