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Doubles Recipe

The Trini DoublesMom made doubles! when she came to visit in Guyana. Yay! Of course we were all a bit skeptical because my mother never made real doubles in our life…she turns up her nose at the street bara which are made with ONLY flour and are therefore thin and insubstantial. Her “doubles” used healthier bara made with ground dhal and highly seasoned – more like a kachorie – try wrapping something that thick and solid around anything. We used to try our best to balance the channa on the round bara and get it into the indentations.

But this, this is real bara – she didn’t add anything, just, flour, water, turmeric, salt etc, and yeast.

Recipe Notes You can make bara using ground split peas/split peas flour, but I don’t think the doubles man on the street does that – the bara is just too limp to have anything but flour. And channa for street doubles is not normally curried (in the traditional Trini sense), but rather boiled until soft and runny with all the seasonings – this is the easiest way to get the channa for bulk street sales. And I can tell you that the recipes here, tasted authentic enough :-) Everyone has their own version, and most people prefer to buy it on the street anyway!

Baras (maybe about 2 dozen)

Doubles - the bara batter
Doubles - stretching the bara


* 2 lbs flour

* 2 tablespoons of baking powder

* salt and geera/cumin to taste

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric or an extra pinch if needed

* 1 teaspoon yeast

* 1 teaspoon brown sugar

* approximately 2.5 cups water (possibly up to 1/2 cup more) (forgot this before!)

1. Mix well and knead until it becomes a soft dough.

2. Smooth over with oil or water and allow to rest until dough has risen to about double.

3. Heat oil at least 2 inches deep in a heavy pot.

4. Break off pieces of dough about the size of golf balls (or a little bigger).

5. Stretch out into rounds about the size of the palm of your handand place gently in oil. Wet or oil your hands to make this job easier, as this is a very sticky stretchy dough.

6. Turn over as soon as it starts to swell. Take out when it is puffy and golden.

7. Stack the baras on brown paper, keep covered to keep them soft. (For the really limp bara you get from the doubles man, you probably have to make a hundred or so and stack them up in a cooler, the way he does, the heat and weight will flatten them then :-) )

Doubles - the frying of the bara Doubles - the pile of baras


* 1/2 lb dried channa/chick peas (I don’t like the taste of the tinned chick peas, but you can use that, it cooks a lot faster, or if available and you are rushed, channa comes curried in tins now!)

* 3-4 cloves minced garlic

* 1 tablespoon each chopped chadon beni/bandhania (coriander/cliantro as a substitute) and chive

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

* salt, pepper and geera/cumin to taste

* 1 whole congo/scotch bonnet pepper (do not chop or burst unless you want the channa to burn without even the chutney!)

* (optional) 1/2 teaspoon curry powder)

1. Soak the dried channa overnight (24 hours), changing the water at least twice (if using tinned channa, rinse very very well).

2. Put channa in a pot/pressure cooker and cover with fresh water, about 2 inches above the level of the peas (less if using a pressure cooker).

3. Add the seasonings and bring to a boil. Cook until the channa is very soft. There must still be liquid in the pot, so don’t let it dry out.

Recipe Notes (continued): If you want to curry the channa properly instead of the above version-

1. Boil the channa with salt, garlic, pepper and turmeric until soft, but not too much liquid.

2. Saute one thinly sliced onion in oil until golden.

3. Add a tablespoon of curry powder to the onions.

4. Add the cooked channa, stir well. Add other seasonings, stir and cover for about 10 minutes.

5. Add some water and let the channa cook to a nice soft mushy consistency, tasting for seasonings.

* * * * * * * * * *

Assembling the DoublesDoubles - the eating

Assemble the doubles by laying out 2 baras overlapping each other at the ends (on paper or a plate) and top with a spoon of channa. Top that with your choice of hot pepper sauce, chutneys whether chadon beni/bandhania, tamarind,Β cucumber, mango or coconut. If on paper, wrap it up like the picture or eat it the way I do, using one bara to scoop up half the filling and repeat.

My Doubles set on Flickr.

P.S. I found that website I mentioned earlier where someone had left a comment that the doubles he eaten were made with BAKED bara! Read to the end, after the recipe! And I still wish that I could respond to that person…but maybe he asked the doublesmen in Piarco and found out the truth. There’s always hope.

Addition: Marsha tried making the bara as she mentioned in her comment, so go see how she fared. Of course, she’s no different from me in that she tweaks recipes from the word go πŸ˜€ cooking is indeed fun!

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61 Comments so far (Add 1 more)


    1. The TriniGourmet on December 31st, 2006 at 2:46 am
  2. ah bookmarkin dis tah try πŸ˜€

    2. The TriniGourmet on December 31st, 2006 at 2:47 am
  3. I don’t think it was mushy and runny enough..:-p

    3. Lilandra on December 31st, 2006 at 4:39 am
  4. true – but I wasn’t commenting on the channa that WAS cooked, especially since sister, the elder says it was because my channa was petrified from age!

    4. chennette on December 31st, 2006 at 5:16 am
  5. what you doing still up?
    i have to blog about you!


    5. Lilandra on December 31st, 2006 at 5:20 am
  6. @ TriniGourmet – I know I posted this too late in the night πŸ˜‰

    @ Lilandra – It’s time to get up for ‘Id ul Adha salaah! Id Mubarak!!

    6. chennette on December 31st, 2006 at 5:21 am
  7. ‘Id Mubarak

    Who said I was sleeping?

    Maybe you can *meet* the flickr’ing bajans and hold their cameras…

    7. Lilandra on December 31st, 2006 at 6:11 am
  8. I didn’t think YOU had been sleeping; I was explaining that I just woke up! I was good and slept…for all of 3 hours.

    8. chennette on December 31st, 2006 at 11:34 am
  9. I just woke up.
    I’m hungry.
    I’m not done grading.
    I still have …I’m still working on same batch! :(

    9. Lilandra on December 31st, 2006 at 3:46 pm
  10. happy monkey moonz πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    that’s new year’s in Trinigourmet speak πŸ˜€

    10. The TriniGourmet on January 1st, 2007 at 12:13 am
  11. Global Voices mashin’ up de lime πŸ˜›

    12. The TriniGourmet on January 1st, 2007 at 3:27 pm
  12. I find this Global Voices person real reading Chennette blog!

    13. Lilandra on January 1st, 2007 at 5:13 pm
  13. and lurkin too eh? ! steups.. πŸ˜›

    14. The TriniGourmet on January 1st, 2007 at 5:56 pm
  14. look, ah have a small audience, doh chase away my readers!

    15. chennette on January 1st, 2007 at 6:07 pm
  15. Could at least say hello to us…*sob*

    I’ll change my blog theme in protest…

    16. Lilandra on January 1st, 2007 at 6:19 pm
  16. Chennette, doubles is one of the things I can’t make to save my life….actually it’s the bara I can’t make. I’ve tried before but it always comes out like fry bake.

    That global voices thing is a trackback. In some blogs they have trackbacks and comments separate. In wordpress, I guess it appears as a comment. All it means is that Georgia mentioned you on the Global Voices Online website.

    17. Mani on January 2nd, 2007 at 11:33 am
  17. By the way, Lilandra I like your new theme….the red layout gave my eyes a workout, lol.

    18. Mani on January 2nd, 2007 at 11:34 am
  18. @ Mani

    19. chennette on January 2nd, 2007 at 1:36 pm
  19. we know what it meant mani… steupz.. i knowz we’s girlz and all but sheesh! lolz

    20. The TriniGourmet on January 2nd, 2007 at 2:27 pm
  20. @Mani: Yeah! We can even edit our wordpress installation files and our wordpress database…and it doesn’t break

    we just want to be trackbacked too…we lonely :-(
    Well, I lonely, TriniGourmet have plenty visitors.

    Also, thankfully I have always liked the default wordpress…but I need to work on a new theme but…I dunno what to do with it at the moment


    21. Lilandra on January 2nd, 2007 at 2:43 pm
  21. trackbacks don’t work on my wordpress :( i’s get pingz tho… i think its something to do with the security setup at my host…
    fortunately i’s be able to see where people coming to TG in real time in another window so i find my trackbacks that way…

    22. The TriniGourmet on January 2nd, 2007 at 3:27 pm
  22. peep the wordpress themes db lilandra :) lots of nice things you can config πŸ˜€

    23. The TriniGourmet on January 2nd, 2007 at 3:27 pm
  23. Sigh…there’s a blank comment up above. I swear i had all of it filled in about how Lilandra and TriniGourmet know good and well what pings are, they just want to chase away my readership…sigh…perils of blogging in airports!

    24. chennette on January 2nd, 2007 at 9:10 pm
  24. Hehehe! GOod thing you didn’t say it you bad girl.

    TriniGourmet: I wanna make my own theme…*sob*

    25. Lilandra on January 2nd, 2007 at 11:02 pm
  25. 26. The TriniGourmet on January 2nd, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    27. The TriniGourmet on January 2nd, 2007 at 11:56 pm
  27. steupz i know how to make my own theme!!
    i just have no design inspiration

    i did the red and black one (simply) in a fit of soca warriors patriotism fever

    and before it was a kinda olive green…

    but i need inspiration…:(

    28. Lilandra on January 3rd, 2007 at 1:06 am
  28. ok minshall πŸ˜€

    29. The TriniGourmet on January 3rd, 2007 at 2:57 am
  29. Ooo I would be complimented if only I didn’t think you were being sarcastic! :-p

    30. Lilandra on January 3rd, 2007 at 2:41 pm
  30. πŸ˜€

    31. The TriniGourmet on January 3rd, 2007 at 4:59 pm
  31. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I live in Canada and left Trinidad when I was fourteen. I miss the food of Trinidad sooooo much. We do have really good Trini restaurants here but sometimes you want to make doubles at home. This is the first time I have seen pictures of the doubles actually being made. Thank your mom for the recipe!

    32. Helen on January 5th, 2007 at 8:45 pm
  32. welcome Helen – and I’ll pass on the thanks! Mom is very cooperative now when cooking, pausing for photos etc :-) Good luck!!

    33. chennette on January 5th, 2007 at 9:36 pm
  33. Thanks to Mani for for clearing up the confusion over the Global Voices trackback!

    For those who aren’t familiar with it, Global Voices is a web site which keeps an eye on the “conversations” taking place in blogospheres throughout the world. I keep an eye on the Caribbean region. Come on over and check us out: http://www.globalvoicesonline.org!

    34. Georgia/Caribbean Free Radio on January 8th, 2007 at 12:00 am
  34. Georgia – no stress, there was no confusion, not of the real kind anyway :-) I have been visiting Global Voices from time to time.

    35. chennette on January 8th, 2007 at 10:34 am
  35. Georgia, we’re just messing with Chennette. Mani just got caught in the trap…accidentally…

    36. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 3:30 pm
  36. WE TRAP DE MANICOU!!!!! LOLZ!!!!

    37. The TriniGourmet on January 10th, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Trini, can manicou be kosher?
    I’ve never cooked one.
    I’m not a “true trini” :-(
    Maybe we should have a cook up?

    Lots of pepper too!

    38. Lilandra on January 10th, 2007 at 5:00 pm
  38. i never eat no wild meat πŸ˜€ lolziez πŸ˜€ it look scary πŸ˜€ but i think it could be kosher :O wouldh ave to ask a rabbi tho … πŸ˜€

    39. The TriniGourmet on January 31st, 2007 at 2:45 pm
  39. Check!

    I never had before

    40. Lilandra on January 31st, 2007 at 11:52 pm
  40. I am trying this today. When I post I will make sure to give you credit for all the helpful hints! :)

    41. Marsha on February 20th, 2007 at 12:26 pm
  41. great :-) Good Luck and I will check for your post!

    42. chennette on February 20th, 2007 at 12:57 pm
  42. In Panama we make “hojaldres,” they are very much like your “baras”…delicious fried bread :)

    43. melissa_cookingdiva on March 1st, 2007 at 9:39 am
  43. Hi Melissa!
    Are the hojaldres sweet or savoury?

    44. chennette on March 1st, 2007 at 12:33 pm
  44. I tried recipe and it was real good!! Yummy. I live in Poland and to have that here was a treat, even my polish husband loves it. I’m trini to the bone. Nothing like food from home:)

    45. angel_maju26 on March 15th, 2007 at 6:39 am
  45. Hi Angel – glad to know the recipe turned out even in Poland!

    46. chennette on March 15th, 2007 at 10:31 am
  46. I came across dis page late,late last night
    so after I dry meh mout from dribbling from de pictures
    I decided to mek some doubles ..
    I rel try, ah mean I come good …but de bara wasn’t soft enough
    it was cripsy so I added more water and oil but still it ent come as soft as de doubles man own?? Whey did I go wrong??
    Disappointed but ah go try again … Toronto Canada represent!!!

    47. DOVEFLY on April 10th, 2007 at 8:52 pm
  47. Hi DoveFly – there may be several things you could try – my mother can probably add to this list πŸ˜‰
    – If you added enough yeast and baking powder, maybe you could let it rise a bit longer – or lessen the baking powder, but definitely let it rise longer.
    – Keep the bara fairly thin so it fries and cooks quickly and you can take it out of the oil before it gets brown. You just want it cooked and golden, brown will make it crispy or hard.
    – Try keeping the heat a bit lower also maybe?
    – Keep swishing some oil over the bara while it puffs up so it can cook faster and you get it out faster while it’s still soft.
    – When you’re done, keep them stacked up and under a towel or in a cooler/closed container like the doubles man so they keep moist, steamy and soften up. Even hot pholourie is crispy just out of the oil.
    Hope some of these tips can work out. Let me know.
    And shout out to Toronto!!

    48. chennette on April 10th, 2007 at 9:05 pm
  48. Thanks I did it!!! the second rounds was nice I think I didn’t knead the dough soft enough plus de place so cold it didn’t rise proper but ah have to say Thanks and Bigg up to you for the pic’s I just got a fresh zeal to cook by the way
    I’m now posting your recipie on facebook in de “doubles” group

    49. DOVEFLY on April 12th, 2007 at 4:06 pm
  49. Yay! So glad it came out. Cold places up north less humid than down in the Caribbean, so sometimes you do need to add more liquid.
    And you’re welcome for the pictures πŸ˜‰ glad to see they inspired someone – spread the Trini food around.

    50. chennette on April 12th, 2007 at 5:03 pm
  50. I tried this recipe today and though I cannot cook to save a life, except my own, it was a success. The channa was perfect and I have to give credit to the pressure cooker and the right amount and kinds of seasoning in the recipe for this. This was infinitely better than the roadside doubles, the standard of which is deteriorating faster than a speeding police car at lunchtime :)

    53. aka_lol on September 27th, 2007 at 8:14 pm
  51. ooh, nice πŸ˜€ glad it worked out for you – you know the last time I made the bara, so many had holes. Sigh. Working on the technique, but yeah, the flavours you can get, not mention the peace of mind, when you make doubles yourself can be great.
    pressure cookers are wonderful things…

    54. chennette on September 27th, 2007 at 8:24 pm
  52. Ok, so where is the recipe for the chutney, the pepper one
    NOT tamarind or mango.
    p.s. thank you the recipe for the doubles!!!

    56. Rene on October 15th, 2007 at 10:12 am
  53. Hey Rene – I have to get working on some chutney recipes…although the “pepper” ones usually have mango or something in them as a base sometimes, otherwise it would just be pepper sauce – I will investigate and try to put up some recipes!

    57. chennette on October 15th, 2007 at 10:31 am
  54. I want to try this. I[‘m not Trini but I’ve been there a few times to visit friends and I became ADDICTED to the place: the people, the beaches, THE FOOD. I love doubles and pastellles, especially. Not too fond of roti because of the bones, but eh. However, i find one thing missing from your recipe—mango chutney! How do you make it?

    58. tiffany on June 22nd, 2008 at 10:18 am
  55. Hi Tiffany. Good luck with the recipe! As for the mango chutney, I have never actually made it myself, but you have to get green mangoes and boil them and stuff. Very specific I know…I’ll have to get more details from Mom.

    59. Chennette on June 22nd, 2008 at 12:13 pm
  56. Hi Chennette,

    I think the last time I tried to make doubles I used the recipe from the Naparima cookbook..or maybe it was TriniGourmet’s recipe. I can’t remember and can’t find the Naps cookbook now, so I am using TriniGourmet’s recipe this time around… The point is though, that last time I was unable to get the dough to rise and as a result, the bara came out a little stiff. I notice in your recipe you use baking powder as well as yeast. Approximately how long did it take for your dough to rise/double using both yeast and baking powder?



    60. L on August 23rd, 2008 at 7:14 pm
  57. Hi L – well, checking with my mother, the provider of this recipe – the dough takes only 20-30 minutes to rise, but that’s for the humid tropics. If you’re up North, you may need to leave it to rise for at least an hour. Mom suggests that you use lukewarm water to make the dough, and that may help.

    61. Chennette on August 23rd, 2008 at 10:54 pm
  58. Mmmmmm I trying this today for sure! Havent eaten doubles for over 2 years :( wish me luck!!

    65. Ayesha on May 25th, 2010 at 11:20 am
  59. Good luck!! Hope it goes well – pictures or reports would be nice :-)

    66. Chennette on May 25th, 2010 at 12:32 pm
  60. Hello! I just wanted to say your recipe for doubles are spot on! I am an African-American and I had the pleasure of working in a Trini bakery for a couple years in south FL. We served food there as well. Needless to say, over the years I have become a double-eating, mauby-drinking, pelau-making Trini foodie lol! I halved the recipe because it only my son and I. They were great! We live in New Mexico now so we are….deprived. Do you mind posting a recipe for mauby? I seem to be doing something wrong…I still drink it anyway! I’m so glad I found your blog! Thanks!

    68. Jennifer on November 28th, 2010 at 10:08 pm
  61. Hi Jennifer – thanks so much! glad the recipe worked out :-) I’ve been to a few places selling doubles in South Florida, wonder if I’ve passed through that one!
    Will try to post a mauby recipe, hopefully, as sad as it may sound I do buy the syrup :-)

    69. Chennette on November 29th, 2010 at 12:27 am

12 Trackbacks

  1. […] Chennette’s mother prepares doubles, a popular Trinidadian street food, and Chennette posts the recipe and link to the Flickr photoset documenting the process. Georgia Popplewell […]

  2. […] 2. Doubles. […]

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  5. […] Serve hot, with chutney of your choice, kuchela, channa (you can use the doubles recipe channa, or curry up your […]

  6. […] Now after I made this mango relish I wanted to do something that could really show it off. Doubles!! I know many of you never heard of it but it is a popular Trinidadian street food and it is totally vegan.It is made up of two fried breads which is fritter like in texture and the dough is tasty as it contains cumin,tumeric and curry…. Here are two wonderful sites with the recipe for doubles. As I am not a Trini or a double making expert I would send you to these lovely sites which are Trinidadian and they knowΒ  doubles better than me TrinigourmetΒ and Chennette’s. […]

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  8. […] am looking right now at a bara recipe on Facebook with my Doubles Bara photo (which was made from a specific recipe that is very different). These things annoy […]

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  10. […] Doubles – thin fried rounds wrapped around soft curried channa, eaten with pepper sauce and hot chutneys. […]

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