Hot Pepper Chokha

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    1 cup

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Miss Mattie Ramroop told me a funny story involving this spicy pepper condiment. While Miss Mattie was out, our dear mutual friend Dr. Aisha Khan, who was visiting from New York, came into her house and saw a chokha-smeared roti lying on the table. Knowing that Miss Mattie would generously offer whatever food she had prepared, Aisha tore off a large bite of the roti—and scalded her mouth. Now she jokes that in the pepper-loving Trinidadian kitchen it is unwise to simply sample Trinidadian dishes without asking first!


  • 10 Scotch bonnet peppers or other hot red chili peppers
  • ½ head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil


  1. Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Place the hot peppers and garlic on the grill or under the broiler. (Alternatively, place them directly in the flame of a gas burner.) Cook until the garlic is lightly browned and the peppers become brown and blistered. Allow to cool, and then stem and finely chop the peppers and mash the garlic.
  2. Combine the peppers and garlic with the salt, onion, and oil. Mix well and refrigerate if not using immediately. The chokha will keep for up to 1 week. Use as a condiment with any curry or stew served with rice or roti.