Check out D'Caribbean Curry Spot in Pearland if you find yourself craving Trini food after listening to Nicki Minaj rap in "Beam Me Up, Scotty," which includes the immortal line, "Where the f**k my curry chicken, and my rice and peas?"
Chef Moe can fix you up with the aforementioned curry chicken with rice and peas. Just don't get the boneless curry chicken, made for people who can't handle a few bones. The white meat chunks get dried out and chalky in the curry sauce. Get the curry chicken on the bone—the meat stays juicy, the way they like it in the Caribbean.
Obviously, Nicki Minaj likes her curry chicken Caribbean-style. The rapper and star of TV's The Voice describes her ethnicity as Trini, Jamaican, and Indo-Guyanese. Maybe her stardom will make Trini food trendy.
At D'Caribbean, I tried another Trini favorite called "doubles." The favorite breakfast treat is made with two flexible turmeric-colored pancakes wrapped around a chana masala (chickpea curry) filling. "A double a day keeps the trouble away," chef Moe advised.
When I tweeted about the little round vegetable puffs called pholourie, someone speculated that these were actually Indian pooris. It was a good guess. The vast majority of Trinidad's residents trace their ancestry to the subcontinent of India. Trinidadian cuisine is really a creolized version of Indian food with lots of New World ingredients and island traditions thrown in.
But in fact, the Trinidadian pholourie is a version of Bangladesh's fuluris, fried potato and chickpea flour puffs dipped in hot sauce or tamarind chutney. I got mine with an "aloo pie" on the side. The potato-filled pastry might remind you of an empanada.
But the emblematic Trinidadian food, and a specialty of the house at D'Caribbean, is the roti. The most popular street food in Trinidad, a roti is a burrito-like creation made by wrapping a curry filling inside an oversized flatbread. (The huge round bread is also called a roti.)
For Trinidadian taxi drivers and others who eat lunch on the run, it's possible to eat a roti out of hand. But it's a lot easier to sit down and eat it at the table. Chef Moe offers roti in the traditional square wrap, or in a roll-your-own format with the filling in a bowl and one or two roti skins on the side. You tear off a piece of bread, spoon in a little filling, fold it over and dip it in your choice of sauces.
8201 W. Broadway Pearland
281 412 0849
The two best curry fillings, the curry goat and curry chicken, are cooked on the bone, so it's also easier to handle de-boning your meat if you are sitting at a table. There is also a duck curry available at D-Caribbean, but you have to call in advance with a special request.
Caribbean curry is generally milder than Indian curries and is almost always made from a prepared spice mix rather than freshly ground spices. "Chief" is a popular brand—look for the logo with the Indian chief in a war bonnet. Or you can buy your curry powder from chef Moe at D'Caribbean. There is a mild curry powder for chicken and a "hot and spicy" one for goat and duck.
Chef Moe makes his own roti skins, chutneys, and habanero hot sauces, and he is quite proud of his work.
Go try his curry chicken. Tell him Nicki sent you.