I do not make Caribbean/Guyanese food for my family regularly because to do it well can be time consuming. However, this Caribbean bread which folks from Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica etc. are very familiar with, is very simple to make. So if you are pressed for […]
Month: May 2018
Tamarind is a tree-pod much like vanilla that produces a very fruity sour pulp. Sugar is used to sweeten the dish, but it can be used in many sweet-and-sour types of sauces. It pairs very well with phulourie and is a good sauce for any duck […]
Mauby is a drink that is widely consumed in the Caribbean and arguably one of its most popular beverages. It is made from the bark of Colubrina elliptica or soldierwood, and has a distinct flavor that could be described as resembling root beer. However, mauby tends to have a more bitter after taste though quite refreshing. In some parts of the Caribbean, mauby is fermented using a portion of the previous batch, while in others it is consumed unfermented. You can buy mauby syrup and mix it with water (still or sparkling) or sugar to taste. However, this popular drink is so easy to make the traditional way, by boiling the bark with sugar and spices. It is my preferred method, as you get the best flavors and you can add preferred flavors to the bark to produce the best tasting drink. Mauby bark is sold online here,a s well as in Latin and Caribbean grocery stores. It is also known as Mavi, Mabi, Maby.
With regard to individual recipes for mauby, the types of spices and flavorings included can vary. Cinnamon is usually included, but then the drink’s flavoring changes according to recipe. Some people add cloves, anise, and vanilla extract; while many Trinidadians suggest adding Angostura bitters (made in Trinidad) to help balance out the bitter aftertaste. Since the Caribbean is warm throughout the year, the drink is served chilled including during the holidays. While I prefer to drink the punch chilled during non winter months, during the holiday season in winter, I drink this festive red drink hot or spiked with rum. Enjoy!
Mauby punch-Guyanese Style
- 1 ounce maubi tree bark
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- Peel of 1 orange
- 7 ½ cups water, divided
- *1 cup granulated sugar
- *1 cup dark brown sugar
- *substitute alternate sweetener to taste for sugar, if desired
- Step 1 Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the mauby bark, cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves and let boil for 10 minutes.
- Step 2 Remove the pot from the stove and strain the
- Step 3 liquid into a bowl through a fine colander to filter. Let it cool completely.
- Step 4 Mix the remaining 6 cups water, the sugar and the brown sugar in a large bowl or pitcher stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Step 5 Add the mauby liquid and mix well until it starts to foam.
- Step 6 Pour the mauby into one or more wide-necked glass or plastic bottles, and cover with cheesecloth. (NOTE: Do NOT fill the bottles all the way to the top—the fermentation will create pressure, and you need to
- Step 7 leave about 2 inches at the top of the bottle to keep the bottle from exploding.)
- Step 8 For best flavor, place the bottles in the sun or a warm place for about 3 to 4 days.
- Step 9 As the mauby starts to ferment, you must remove the foam from the top while still in its warm place.
- Step 10 Every day or so, skim the foam off the top of the bottle with a small ladle or spoon.
- Step 11 After 2 to 3 days, strain the liquid through a small mesh strainer then chill until ready to serve,
- Step 12 Pour the maubi into two ice-filled glasses and enjoy!
These fried breads are not greasy when properly cooked. Serve with scrambled eggs at breakfast or with Baigan choka, pumpkin (butternut squash) or dhal. My kids say their favorite breakfast is bake and eggs. Say that really fast and you can see how it confuses […]
Pineapple tarts commonly called pine tarts by Guyanese is a delicious pastry! Whenever my sisters-in-law from New York visit, they bring these amazing treats to share. It is difficult to eat just one and they almost always disappear in less than a day, no matter how many were brought. As a mom or a host, I had to set aside a few to ensure that everyone got one!
Sometimes when my mom and other family members from New York or Ft. Lauderdale visited, they would bring pine tarts, tennis rolls, salara buns, from Sybil’s Bakery as a special treat or they would bring homemade ones. They knew that my family would be ecstatic, since I only cooked Guyanese food on occasion. (Confessions of a Guyanese-American Mom).
Some family members make their Pine tarts with canned crushed pineapple and boxed pie crust mix as a time saving method. I have to confess that as a busy mom, I used this method when my kids were growing up. But setting aside an hour to make some of these tarts for the family or as a special treat for someone is the best, most delicious method.
Have you ever eaten a fresh pineapple from Guyana or the Caribbean? They are a smaller, deliciously sweet version that is different from the imported ones we have here at our grocery stores. Perhaps, that is why I recall my grandmother’s pine tarts as tasting so different, when I was a child growing up in Guyana. They were so amazing! Now as an Ajee, I just had to recreate this version for my grandchildren with nothing but the freshest ingredients, so they could have these same delicious memories. I give you the pineapple of my memory and my eye (along with those time saving instructions for busy moms!).
You’ll need a ripe, medium sized pineapple. If you want to figure out if your pineapple is ripe, read this. Peel, core and chop your pineapple into 1 inch chunks. Pulse pineapple in food processor or blender until you have crushed pineapple with small lumps. A medium size pineapple will give approximately 3 cups crushed pineapple.
Pineapple Tarts-Guyanese Style
- For the Pineapple Filling
- 2 ½ Cups crushed fresh pineapple
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1-inch (2.5cm) cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder (or grated fresh ginger)
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- For the Pastry
- 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp confectioners sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water (egg wash)
- 3/4 cup ice cold water
- Step 1 The dough/pastry
- Step 2 1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and cut in the butter and mix together until it forms a crumbly texture.
- Step 3 2. Then little by little (by the tablespoon), add the cold water until you can form a dough. Knead the dough to a smooth log (about a foot long), then wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for around 30 minutes to rest while preparing the filling.
- Step 4 The filling
- Step 5 1. If you are using fresh pineapple, then peel and cut the pineapple into large chunks and transfer into a food blender, pulsate for a minute until you have small lumps. You want to then measure out 2 1/2 cups of pineapple from that to use in the filling.
- Step 6 2. Place the fruit into a sauce pan with the water, juice, spices and sugar. Simmer slowly for 30 mins under a low to medium heat or until the mixture thickens to a jam like consistency. Keep stirring regularly to avoid it burning. When ready, remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely. Remove cinnamon stick.
- Step 7 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Step 8 The assembly
- Step 9 1. Remove pastry from refrigerator. Let sit until it comes to room temperature.
- Step 10 2. Cut the log into 1 inch thick rounds, then flatten dough with palm. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a 6″ circle about 1/4 inch thick. If you like a thinner crust, roll to a 7 1/2 inch circle.
- Step 11 3. Brush edges of circle with egg whites.
- Step 12 4. Place 1 1/2 tablespoon of pineapple filling into the middle of the circle no father than 1 inch from the edges.
- Step 13 5. Fold corners into center to form a circle.
- Step 14 6. Brush tops with egg wash, then pierce with a fork.
- Step 15 7.. Arrange on wax paper on a baking sheet and place in middle rack of oven. Bake until golden brown about 25 minutes.
- Step 16 8. Fold the corners of the dough into the middle, to form a triangle. ensure the ends are sealed, you can use a fork to do this.
- Step 17 9. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (optional)
- Step 18 10. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Step 19 Tip: Dough and pineapple filling can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator until ready to use.