Vegetables & Rice

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Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

Vegetarians find it very easy to eat in Trinidad since the abundance of local vegetables, creatively used, means there is always something on the menu for non-meateaters. The wide variety of vegetable dishes has to do with the large East Indian Hindu population, which originally came to Trinidad as vegetarians even if they did not remain that way.
Even those Trinidadians who must have meat at every meal eat a healthy variety of vegetables in addition to the standard starch that, as in America, generally accompanies every meat dish. These are known as “ground provisions,” the catchall term for the starchy tubers, fruits, and squash like cassava, pumpkin, plantains, and breadfruit, that were the staple diet for enslaved people and indentured laborers. Now generally referred to as “provision,” they remain a major part of the Trinidadian diet, whether elegantly prepared in a curry sauce or casserole or simply simmered in salted water as a side dish.

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