- 3 large tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock (or veg)
- 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 cup parboiled brown rice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- Pinch ground coriander
- If you don’t have access to a grill as I did, toss the tomatoes in about 2 tablespoon of olive oil (not mentioned in the ingredient list) and roast them in your oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes or so. As with making traditional tomato choka I placed the ripe tomatoes on my grill, along with a whole green scotch bonnet pepper to cook. The pepper will take about 2-3 minutes (remove), but give the tomatoes about 20-30 minutes, flipping them so they char evenly.
- Remove the tomatoes off the grill and place in a bowl to cool. They will release a lot of liquid as they cool, thus the reason for having them in a bowl so you can save this lovely liquid to add to the pot later. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin and give them a rough chop.
- Heat the olive oil on a med/low flame in your soup pot and gently cook the diced onion, thyme and garlic for about 4 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. By adding the tomato paste at this point the sort of frying will increase the natural sugars in the paste and give the dish a lovely sweetness.
- Now turn up the heat and add all the other ingredients except the rice. Bring to a boil.
- Wash the rice to remove any grit and extra starch. As the pot comes to a boil add the rice, then turn the heat down so you have an active simmer going. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice grains are plump and fully cooked.
- Skim off any sort of reside off the top of the pot as it cooks and discard. Remember to taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If you used a whole scotch bonnet pepper as I did, you now have 2 options. Remove it so you don’t have that ‘kick’ or burst it open to reveal that Caribbean sunshine. WARNING! It will be live!
- Top with some chopped parsley and get ready to serve with a thick slice of coconut bake or bread.