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  • Writer's pictureAvni R.

Trini Daal

Trini food is definitely one of my most favorite cuisines. Two summers ago, I went to visit my cousin who’s mother-in-law is from Trinidad. I’d heard great things about her food and she was kind enough to make us a Trini feast. I mean..I have no words for the work and love she put into that meal, it was beyond amazing and I wish I knew how to make it all! One dish that stood out to me was the daal. It was so simple, yet comforting and tasty. I requested the recipe as soon as I got home. I’ve made it a few times now and it always turns out amazing!

The main spice for Trini food is scotch bonnet peppers, which tastes similar to habanero but better. I find it spicier with a deeper flavor than habanero but it is hard to find here so obviously I just end up using habanero. Also the main herb they use is culantro, different than cilantro. But again, hard to find here so I just use cilantro instead. I’ve read that you can do a mix of cilantro and parsley to get the culantro flavor.

I also have a recipe for Trini Chana Aloo on here as well, it’s easy and only has a few ingredients if you want to try more dishes from this cuisine. You can make these two recipes together with some rice and roti for a nice, hearty meal! Hope you guys enjoy this one!


Trini Daal


  • 1 cup yellow split peas

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced

  • 2-3 habanero peppers, finely diced or ground into a paste (you can remove seeds for less spice)

  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced

  • 4 stems culantro (if avail) or cilantro stems, chopped

  • Handful of chopped cilantro, for garnish


1. Instant pot: Rinse the split peas and add to instant pot with turmeric, salt and approx. 3 cups of water. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release pressure. Open and blend smooth with an immersion blender. Set aside and go to step 3.

2. Stove top: Rinse the split peas and add to a pot with turmeric, salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer until daal is fully cooked. Once done, blend smooth with an immersion blender. Set aside and go to next step.

3. In a pot over medium heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start to sputter, add in diced onions and sauté until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Now add in garlic, habanero, green onions and cilantro stems. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.

5. Carefully pour in daal mixture and bring to a boil. Add water if needed to thin out the consistency. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice and roti!


Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see your recreation! Please tag me @thecurriedcook or #thecurriedcook so I can see!

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