Trinidad's history is reflected in its food. Foods blend the taste and style of different ethnic and colonial groups. Creole food has elements of African and French cooking. Some foods have a distinct Spanish origin, while East Indian food is also popular.

The Spanish contributed pastelles, a patty of minced meats seasoned with olives, capers and raisins, folded in pure corn dough, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. East Indian curries are served with roti, a thin round Indian bread, cooked on a hot griddle. Chinese and Portuguese foods are also commonly eaten.

Many social gatherings are complemented with meals. While it is common to eat on the run in Trinidad, cooking substantial meals at home is important, especially on weekends. A typical Sunday dinner may include callaloo, a combination of spinach and crab. Other favourites are curried crab and coocoo, a cornmeal and okra pie.

Here is a recipe for a Trinidadian favourite that you can try at home.

Chicken Pelau


1.5 kg chicken pieces seasoned with salt, pepper, chives, thyme, garlic, parsley, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
500 gm rice, washed
500 ml coconut milk
500 ml water
1 large onion
1 can pigeon peas, drained
1 sweet pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp vegetable oil
65 gm sugar
salt and pepper
hot pepper


Heat oil in heavy pot. Add sugar and allow to burn until dark brown. Add seasoned meat and stir until pieces are well coated with sugar. Brown for 5 minutes. Stir rice into chicken and turn often until well blended. Cook for 3 minutes more. Add soy sauce, ketchup, onion, sweet pepper and peas. Stir fry a few seconds. Add salt, pepper, coconut milk and water. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until rice is cooked (about 25 min.). Pelau may also be cooked in oven at 350 for 25 min.