How I got into Caribbean Cuisine
A lot of my sentiments around the Caribbean culture and its food were influenced by my Trinidadian friend, Cornielle.
The first time I had Caribbean food was during my college years. I was really curious about Caribbean cuisine, because at the time Cornielle and I became friends and were hanging out quite a bit. She was just a burst of sunshine (a rarity in grumpy-assed NYC), and being from a tropical island myself, she reminded me of the warmth of home.
Cornielle was very proud of her Caribbean heritage (she was Black-Indian-French-Chinese) and would cook everything from calaloo to salt cod fish to share with me. I loved how she would shake her booty whenever she felt like it, as if she was practicing for a carnival. She was the OG. This woman taught me how to let loose, and twerk before twerking was even a thing!
The most memorable plate of Caribbean-style curry goat for me has got to be the one shop in London I always went to get take out from. The food there were made by aunties from the Caribbean, and boy did they make a mean curry. The rice and beans were absolutely delish, and I spent many dinners chowing down those curries. Now that I don’t live around there anymore, so I have to cook my own goat curry.
Coming from Malaysia, we have our own goat curry called Kari Kambing, which we usually have with roti or basmati rice. It’s also very tasty, but the flavor profile is different, because the curry mix uses different spices, and we don’t use thyme for our curries in Malaysia.
Anyway, Caribbean-style curry goat begins with a Caribbean-style curry spice mix, and here it is. My super-composed husband rarely volunteers to tell me how good something is, unless he really loves it. The curry goat I made last night with this spice mix made him do a little dance. Enjoy it and share your dishes with me in the comments below.
Jamaican Curry Powder
- 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp whole mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp whole anise seeds
- 1 tbsp whole fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp whole allspice
- 5 tbsp ground turmeric
- Grind all the spices together in a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle(molcajete), untill your spice mix is a fine powder. Then place in an air-tight storage container.