Trinidad Tomato Choka

3.10.16 | Recipe by Renz
A roasted tomato dish with a deep smoky flavor that can easily be eaten during any meal. This flavorful tomato choka dip is perfect for just about anything.

  
Finished tomato choka in a serving bowl with a sandwich in the background.



Sometimes there's a dish that you just all of a sudden feel for and you decide you just must make it. It doesn't happen often, but when that urge strikes it's to just get it made.

That was me with this tomato choka this week. And hopefully, it would be you after reading this post.

This is a very popular treat for us back home. A nice roasted tomato dish that's then infused with onions, garlic, and pepper. The perfect sauce that makes you just want to sap it up so quickly.

  

What is choka?


Choka is not an ingredient in this dish. It's actually a specific method of cooking.

It is basically the method of roasting a vegetable or meat so that it gets a deep, roasted flavor.

The best choka is done on an open flame which gives it this nice charred flavor. We popularly roast tomatoes and baigan (melongene or eggplant) and coconut in the Caribbean. We also have saltfish choka or herring.

Unfortunately for me, I don't have a gas range or anything that I can use to roast so I had to resort to using the next best option, my oven.

So this is a bit of the non-traditional tomato choka but just as good.

What is in Tomato Choka?


Choka is pretty easy to make and it uses a few ingredients. Cooking it just smells amazing and just reminds me of how flavorful our food is.

  • Ripe juicy tomatoes - the riper the tomatoes the better. This would produce a juicier, more flavorful choka. If you use a green tomato it will take longer to roast.
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Hot peppers - you can use any you like. Scotch bonnet pepper, scorpion pepper. Anything to your heat liking.
  • Olive oil
  • Onion

Equipment

Fork or Potato masher
Large bowl
Aluminum foil

  
Ingredients for making tomato choka


How To Make Tomato Choka


The flavors are intense in this dish, but it really does not need a lot of work for that. We are getting the best of the raw tomatoes.

Place the cleaned tomatoes on a foiled baking sheet with a little oil. And we are going to bake them for about 25 minutes, or until you get charred skin. It will look wilted. You can also use your broiler. Depending on your stove broiling can take about 15 - 20 minutes to get your tomatoes charred.

Note, if you are using large tomatoes and those that aren't too ripe it will take a little longer for the tomato skins to start getting wilted.

So when you are looking for tomatoes for this recipe I do suggest using very ripe ones or even leftover tomatoes.

Once roasted, the skin would be able to be removed easily. Let it cool a little then use two forks to get the skin off. Pull the forks back on them to easily pull away from the skin. Discard the hard head of the tomatoes.

I suggest doing the removal in a large bowl so that you can save the juices that are going to sprint while removing the skin.

Add the tomatoes to a bowl and crush with the fork or potato masher. Remove any of the hard parts of the core that may be in there.

With your pestle and mortar smash garlic and hot peppers. You can use these fresh or you can also roast the garlic and the pepper with the tomatoes for added depth. Just only do them for about 10 minutes. You want to roast the garlic until brown.

Combine the tomatoes and the crushed pepper and garlic clove.

Add your chopped-up raw onions and combine.

This is another recipe you adjust to taste as it relates to pepper.

Now is a good time to taste test. Season with salt and black pepper if needed. And more hot pepper if desired.

On medium heat on the stove, get your oil heated till it's just about to smoke, then transfer mixture to tomato mixture.

But I much rather have a slight hint of heat so that it doesn't overpower the tomato flavor.

  
Tomatoes pre roasting and post roasting in the oven


What do we eat choka with?


It is very common to have it with sada roti (which is like bread) with choka. This is normally the breakfast version.

It is also eaten alongside some curry chicken and roti or with dhal and rice.

I am being a little unconventional and paired it with some grilled cheese. And it was amazing.

It's almost like tomato soup with grilled cheese but with a chunky, heavily flavored soup.

  
Finished tomato choka in a red serving bowl. With a sandwich in the background


Notes


Tomatoes: It doesn't matter what type you use. I like using Roma or beefsteak tomatoes.

Pepper: If you don't want it to be too hot, remove the seeds and membrane of your peppers. These are the hottest parts of the pepper. You can always add more pepper later down if you need to up the levels.

Outside grill: This can be done on an outdoor grill or open flame (the traditional way). Follow the same directions. Grill onions till the skin starts to char.

Liquid smoke: If you want t give it a little smokiness you can try adding some liquid smoke. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon and then adjust if you like more

  
A hand dipping bread into some tomato choka




Did I mention how intense the taste is?

If you have never had choka before and I suggest you give it a try.

Go ahead and check out some other dishes we consider Caribbean condiments:

Pineapple chutney
Green seasoning
Pepper Sauce
Sorrel BBQSauce










Tomato Choka
Sauces, Condiments
Caribbean
Yield: 2
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Finished tomato choka in a serving bowl

Tomato Choka

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 45 Min
A roasted tomato dish with a deep smoky flavor that can easily be eaten during any meal. This flavorful dip is perfect for just about anything.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place tomatoes on a foiled lined baking sheet
  3. Bake for 25 minutes
  4. Bake hot peppers wrapped in foil for 10 minutes. You can also add your garlic here too.
  5. Mash sliced garlic, salt, and hot peppers together
  6. Once tomatoes are charred, remove from oven and let it sit for a little to cool a bit
  7. Peel tomatoes using a fork. Cutting off the head of the tomato
  8. In a large bowl combine tomatoes and garlic/pepper mix.
  9. Mash to desired consistency. Remove any hard pieces you may find
  10. Add onions to tomato mixture
  11. Heat oil to the point where it's just starting to smoke
  12. Add oil to tomato mixture and combine
  13. Serve

Notes:

Tomatoes: It doesn't matter what type you use. I like using Roma or beefsteak tomatoes  

 

Pepper: If you don't want it to be too hot, remove the seeds and membrane of your peppers. These are the hottest parts of the pepper. You can always add more pepper later down if you need to up the levels.

 

Outside grill: This can be done on an outdoor grill or open flame (the traditional way). Follow the same directions. Grill onions till the skin starts to char. 

 

Liquid smoke: If you want t give it a little smokiness you can try adding some liquid smoke. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon and then adjust if you like more

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