Tobago Cuisine

I have been asked many times, why I do not post local cuisines of my island Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago’s cuisine are a unique blend of African, Indian, Chinese, European and Latin American influences, overlaid with those of countries as diverse as Syria, Lebanon and Italy; blended also with the diverse multicultural, multiracial population of Trinidad, this has created a fascinating culinary fusion far more interesting than the typical fare found elsewhere in the Caribbean. To most people is one of the highlights of a visit to Tobago.

One Tobago island cuisine, which stands out above the rest is our signature dish, crab and dumpling, which is a must when visiting the island.

Curry Crab and Dumplings

  • 6 crabs
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bundle chives, chopped
  • 2 sprigs celery, chopped
  • 6 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 small hot pepper
  • 2 – 3 sprigs thyme
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Water

Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze the lime juice into the water. Add the lime halves as well. Clean crabs and soak in the lime water for 10 – 15 minutes. Drain. Season the crabs with chives, celery, pimento peppers, 2 cloves garlic (chopped) and onion. Let marinate for half hour. Mix the ingredients for the dumplings in a bowl. Add enough water to form soft but pliable dough. Let rest for half hour. Form into desired shapes when ready for cooking. Heat a little oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and let burn. Remove when blackened.Make a paste with the curry powder and a little water. Add to the hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the crab and stir well. Add a little water if crab begins to stick to pot and let cook for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and hot pepper and bring to a boil. Add the dumplings. Cover, lower heat and let cook until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.


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