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Trinidad Pelau

Trinidad Pelau



Pelau is a big favourite in Trinidad. Go to a local beach on a weekend and see all the families, kids in the water, parents set up with big pots of pelau for lunch.

Pelau can be made with chicken, pork or beef. Essentially its a one pot meal derived from Indian sources but modified to suit the Caribbean taste and ingredients. In some ways its a bit like a Biriani. The big difference here where cultures are a melting pot, is the addition of African sugar browning methods. The traditional “pea” used in the Caribbean is pigeon peas locally known as “gungo pea”, but we have made it just as tastily with black eye peas or even red beans.

Preparation of Pilau is in three stages, seasoning, cooking the chicken, and preparing the rice.

1 small chicken or 4 whole legs

teaspoon of sugar
One and a half Onions sliced

3 garlic cloves

Bunch of coriander
Tomato Ketchup
Half a WI Pepper
A small Tin of Tomatoes (4 oz) or fresh of course, in which case 2-3 medium chopped
Dark Soy Sauce (In Trinidad this is traditionally gravy browning, but we find dark soy is much nicer and more natural)
Salt and pepper

1 Tin pigeon Peas or 3 cups cooked peas of any kind

2 cups of long grain rice

1 cup coconut milk plus 4 cups water (can throw in a little stock if you have)

Sprig Thyme


Season the day before, or at least 2 hours. Skin chicken, chop into bite size, and season with salt, pepper, chopped onion, and garlic, chopped coriander and 1 tbs dark soy plus 1/4 tin tomatoes chopped.

Cook CHICKEN . Heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a wok or pot with 1 tbs of sugar. When sugar melts and turns dark brown (almost black) add chicken. Spoon chicken into pot reserving the liquid from the seasoning for use later. Add half a teaspoon of dark soy and stir thoroughly. Cook on a medium heat covered for 10 minutes. Check often and stir to prevent burning.

Uncover and add a small onion sliced finely and 1 tbs of tomato ketchup, cover again and allow to continue cooking for about another 10 minutes stirring regularly. Remove the chicken with a spoon to a dish, ensuring that you remove only the chicken leaving the mixture and oil, the resulting chicken will be dark brown and almost dry. Drain off all of the liquid into the reserved liquid from the marinade to form part of the rice water.

Cook Rice

Into the pot that the chicken was cooked add 2 tsp oil then half an onion sliced finely. Cook for a few seconds. Add rice and the other half tin of tomatoes and stir briskly.

When the mixture starts to stick pour 1 cup of boiling water onto the reserved seasoning and mix in then add to mixture. Also add 2 cups of boiling water, 1 cup coconut milk, and stir to mix.

Salt generously, and let mixture cook on medium heat partially covered for 10 minutes.

The long grain rice will take about 30 minutes. After about 10 minutes add cooked chicken and peas, and very carefully mix in. Cover and finish cooking, then remove from heat and allow to settle before serving. Don’t worry too much if there is still a bit of liquid when your rice is cooked as when you turn off and leave covered it will absorb over the next 20-30 minutes.

Pilau is very good served with a crisp cold mixed salad with no seasoning, avocado or sliced cucumber. It keeps well in the fridge and reheat with microwave.

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Hot Sauce Review of Ooft! Aged Hot Sauce

Clifton Chilli Club


Hot Sauce review - Clifton Chilli Club
Hot Sauce review – Clifton Chilli Club

Hot Sauce review

Great review of Ooft! from the famous and impartial Clifton Chilli Club. REVIEW LINK

Buy Ooft! the sauce being reviewed by clicking this link.


Watch the faces as they taste our hot sauce. Note that they say they would buy this sauce, an acid test for reviews. These guys are brave see how much Ooft! they use. The Clifton Chilli club is the rolls Royce of hot sauce reviews and they have fans all over the world who watch them on Facebook.

Their club web page rightly says “We like to think that we are fully immersed in the world of chilli! We don’t just grow chillies, we cook with them, run eating contests with them, taste them (often to our detriment), review chilli products, go on adventures & more. To find out more, please click the heading of each subject and explore the sub pages.”

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Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Saltfish with dumplings

The Jamaicans have created a lovely tasty breakfast with this dish. Ackee is a fruit from a large tree and is poisonous if eaten unripe. So its best to buy tinned ackee available from most supermarkets that carry international foods. They are expensive around £4.50 a tin but the consistency and taste cannot be duplicated. In Trinidad there are a few ackee trees but most Trinidadians don’t understand them and rarely eat the fruit.

Buy the best Scottish saltfish online LINK

Boil about 1/2 lb of saltfish and drain. In a frying pan slow cook an onion sliced, a sweet pepper sliced and a hot pepper chopped until the go translucent and soft (about 5-10 minutes slow). Add a tin of tomatoes and some fresh thyme and maybe a little water. I also add a teaspoon of sun dried tomato paste and a tsp of sugar. Let this mixture cook slowly until reduced and tasty, add black pepper. then add the shredded saltfish and let this cook into the mix for 5 minutes before topping off with the ackee. Once the ackee is added don’t stir much as it breaks up.

To make the dumpling take 8oz plain flour and add a tsp of salt and a tsp of sugar. Then mix with water to a soft consistency and knead for about 2 minutes. Boil; a saucepan of salted water and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Flatten with the hand or a rolling pin into saucer shapes and drop into the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.  Serve with Ooft! hot pepper of course!

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Vegetarian Lentil Chilli recipe with Ooft!

Vegan chilli

Vegan chilli

Chilli sauce with a Vegetarian Lentil Chilli


Chilli sauce goes well with vegetarian meals. You can buy our hot chilli sauce by clicking this link. Food Bloggers have changed the face of the worlds home cooking. Unlike professional chefs the food blogger is some one you can relate to, has a family, works hard and the recipes are the sort of thing anyone can try at home.  One of the best known food bloggers in Britain is Corina Blum with her food blog “Searching for Spice” LINK TO BLOG. As Corina says she is a busy mum so sticks to tasty recipes she can prepare quickly for her family. She loves spicy food and her recipes feature tasty hot food from Mexico, India, Thailand  and China. In her own words:-

“I love using spices and discovering new ones and that’s how the blog’s name came about.   A lot of the dishes are inspired by dishes from around the world – Some of my favourite recipes are curries, stir fries and spicy salads.   I love Indian, Mexican, North African, Thai and Chinese food.

Naturally many of the recipes use herbs and spices, although I do make all kinds of dishes.   Initially there were very few sweet recipes but over the last 2 years, I have become more interested in baking, especially since my daughter (Little Miss Spice, born April 2012) has started to enjoy helping me out in the kitchen.  Master Spice (born April 2014) is also keeping me very busy”.

We sent Corina a sample of Ooft! and she has used our sauce in a classic vegetarian Chilli dish using lentils instead of meat. It sounds wonderful and here at Ooft! central we can’t wait to try it as we love lentils. The recipe is at LINK TO RECIPE

We post our recipes here, on google Plus LINK TO GOOGLE RECIPES and our new blog focussed on using Scottish finest ingredients in novel ways. LINK TO SCOTLAND TRANSFORMED

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Catering Ooft!, Mark Hix, and Scottish Chefs Challenge

Ooft! 1 ltr catering

Mark Hix is one of the finest and little known top chefs in Britain. He has built his small group or restaurants slowly and carefully, focussing on the finest and freshest local ingredients. So when Tramshed, one of the most innovative restaurants in the group, contacted Ooft! and said we had been chosen by all the chefs as the future hot sauce for Hix we were knocked out but delighted. At that point Ooft! was a growing retail brand with many faithful individuals who loved our sauce. But rising to the challenge we created a catering Ooft! 1 ltr bottle and suitable packaging.

That was a year ago and it appears that the chefs continue to love Ooft! as we get regular orders.

Now we are reaching out to find Scottish Chefs who are willing to take a chance and try Ooft! in their menus. We are locally made, 100% natural and aged like fine wine.

Mark Hix LINK

Tramshed LINK

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Hottest Chilli or tastiest? Find out at Amazon

Ooft! Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce


Ooft! Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce
Ooof! Aged Hot Sauce

Hottest Chilli

Hottest chilli? No but here at Ooft! we make tasty hot sauces you can use very day. We don’t try to be the hottest chilli, we are the tastiest.  We sell through specialty stores and delis all over Scotland and in many parts of England. We also sell online and you can buy our sauce from us direct at this link.

But Amazon is trusted by a lot of people myself included. So we have finally put our hot sauce online with Amazon.

Amazon page for Ooft! Aged Scotch Bonnet at  – LINK

Amazon page for Ooft!  Aged Smoky Chipotle at  – LINK

Although we use PAYPAL on our site and customers can feel totally secure in buying there are a lot of people who already have all their details at Amazon and like the “one click” shopping style. So to make it easier to acquire our award winning aged hot sauce from anywhere in the world via we have finally put Ooft! up as a product. To find it search for ooft.

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Oxtail Caribbean style with red beans

preparing stewed oxtails
Stewed oxtail
Stewed oxtail and red beans
preparing stewed oxtails
At the beginning with Stewed oxtails
Oxtail ingredients
Oxtail Ingredients

Stewed Oxtails and red beans

Oxtails are an underrated  cut and are full of flavour.


Slow Cook

1kg fresh oxtails

1 onion, carrot and celery

Caramelise Meat

1 tbs brown sugar in 1 tbs oil

Red Beans

1 onion 1 sweet pepper, 1 clove garlic, plus two tomatoes chopped (optional piece of pumpkin)

1 tin red beans (drained)

2 tbs chopped parsley and 2inch of tomato paste from tube


We use a little Bisto in water to thicken the red bean mixture

This is a very tasty and nutritious meal. It keeps well in the fridge and show here would serve 3-4. Stewing the oxtail adds a lovely caramelise to the taste. The red beans slow cooked in onions and sweet peppers and garlic are a great addition. This is a recipe we use once or twice a month. The slow cooked ox tails melt in the mouth.


Slow Cook

First  slow bake the oxtails with water to cover, onion, carrot and celery for 3 hours. This can (and often is for us) be done up to a week before the final dish. Then when ready to serve, separate oxtails from liquid (sometime the liquid set so you may have to heat enough to liquefy., also of course remove fat).


Take a wok and put 2 tbs oil and 1 tbs brown sugar. heat medium until sugar turns to caramel (watch it closely as you don’t want it to go black and taste burnt). Then throw in the oxtails and stir until coated and allow to heat up.


Meanwhile in a separate pan (cover between) sauté 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped sweet pepper with a crushed garlic slowly until softened and transparent (6-8min). Add a few pieces of chopped pumpkin (optional) and 2 tomato chopped and let this simmer until the tomato is soft (13min). Add a little stock from the oxtails, chopped parsley salt and pepper, 2 tsp Ooft!, plus  1tbs  of tomato paste. Add a drained tin of red beans. Let cook until pumpkin cooked (15min).


Meanwhile that’s cooking prepare gravy. Add 1.5 cup stock to a pan  heat then add 1 tbs Bisto dissolved in a little water to thicken. Hold.


We combine the three components and let them warm together.


We serve with plain white jasmine rice. The image shows okra rice which is a good alternative.


for more recipes see link


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Chermoula Chicken – One pot meal

Chermoula Chicken
Chermoula Chicken
Chermoula Chicken

We have been trying a new recipe from North Africa called Chermoula Chicken.  Although its origin in Morocco (wiki says is a marinade and relish used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking). It is traditionally used to flavor fish or seafood, but it can be used on other meats or vegetable, the seasoning is not far away from the Caribbean, and its a lovely one pot meal. We had a small rice salad with it but it could standalone with a few more potatoes. It goes really well with Ooft! Chipotle sauce. The flavours just work together well.
serves 2
two leg and thigh skin on. 8 small potato, 1 onion cut in qtr, 4 small pieces of pumpkin (optional) 8-12 baby plum tomatoes,
Seasoning for chicken. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds lightly toasted (do this in a dry pan and watch it doesn’t burn, you will be able to smell its fragrance), 1/2 lime or lemon juice and zest, 1/2 cup chopped parsley and same coriander, 2 cloves garlic crushed, 1 tsp Ooft! Scotch Bonnet, 1.5 tsp smoked paprika. salt and pepper.
Mash or blend the ingredients with 3 tbs olive oil and mix with chicken and leave for 30 minutes. Then place all except tomatoes in pie dish (skin side up) with 1/2 cup water and roast in oven at 180-200 for 30 minutes, then stir lightly and add tomatoes and continue roasting for another 40 minutes.

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Fried Rice – Tasty Caribbean Style

Fried rice and BBQ
Fried rice and BBQ
Fried rice shown with lovely BBQ

Fried Rice

This is a lovely tasty fried rice, in the Caribbean they modified the Chinese influence with stronger tastier flavours and it shows. The addition of caramelised sugar stewed chicken deepens the taste and makes it more wholesome.

2 Breasts of Chicken cleaned and seasoned. (Chop small and stir in 1 tsp dark soy, 2 tsp light, 1 tbs chopped coriander, 4 cloves garlic chopped and salt and pepper. Leave for an hour or more )

1 cauliflower
1 green peppers
1 red pepper
2 large carrots
1 onion
8 oz rice (long grain is best)

This is  very good as a light diet meal, with a side salad or as a big meal with BBQ as shown above.

Cook rice as normal but drain while still a little undercooked. Leave to dry if possible for an hour or so

All vegetables must be sliced and chopped into small cubes.

Heat 3 tbpns oil in a wok on high heat. and add 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Wait until sugar melts and bubbles and turns dark.

Add seasoned chicken stir and cover. Leave on high heat for 5 minutes. Uncover, and add carrots and onions and covering let cook for further 5 minutes. Uncover and add cauliflower and a sprinkle of salt, and cover for another 3 minutes. Finally add peppers stir, and cover for two minutes. Uncover and add rice and stir vigorously. Add 1 teaspoon of dark soy if you want the rice darker and stir to mix and colour ingredients well. Add 3/4 oz butter and stir in gently. Remove from heat and mix again. This reheats well in the microwave and keeps well.

See other food blog posts – link

see other recipes on our google+ – Link

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Fish Broth – Spicy Caribbean

Fish broth
Fish broth
Spicy Caribbean Fish broth

Spicy Fish Broth

Many people shy away from fish soup, maybe they think its hard to do. But go to France and eat in one of those tiny bistros near the harbour and rave about the bouillabaisse or fish soup. This recipe is tried and tested and delivers a rich warm nourishing soup or broth with a bit of heat. Serve with French bread sliced and rubbed with garlic plus some grated parmesan. The French put that in the bottom and pour soup over but you can also float it after.

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