Inspiration from Meghan

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Split Pea Roti


I spent my formative years (from about the age of 11 to 23) taking family trips to Jamaica so I suppose the Caribbean spirit captured me pretty early on. I like to think that I understand a bit of the Jamaica patois after all this time, but the St. Lucian Creole blend is pretty much lost on me. There are three main reasons I think I was born into the wrong packaging.

  1. I have a booty that was meant to be shaken
  2. I have a laugh that bellows big from my little self
  3. I love the food!

I also kind of feel the laid back vibe down here is just infectiously amazing and they look at little North American me and think I am wound up tighter than tourist braids.

Speaking of which.... we all make mistakes- and sadly I am clearly not 11 years old here.

In honour of Caribana that comes to Toronto every summer, I did a little summer series on Caribbean food.

Too Much Rum Cream? The Holistic Hangover Cure
Jerk It Out
Pass The Peas
Rub It On Me Belly Like Guava Jelly
Caribbean Curry without the Goat

What was obviously missing from this series was the roti. I had yet to venture to this thin, flavourful pancake type pancake (do you have a better way to describe it?) but alas, with Josh by my side we not only mastered the roti, but he taught me how to flip it in the frying pan. Check that roti crunking out of the pan! Dat me boi!

Now bring the spirit of the Caribbean into your kitchen on this cool January by making this.

Split Pea Roti

by Meghan Telpner

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes each

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup split peas
  • 1 tsp fenugreek, ground
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried ginger, 2 tsp fresh
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water (or more- see directions below)
  • coconut oilfor cooking


Soak brown rice and peas overnight.

Drain and rinse.

Transfer to blender or food processor and process together with garlic, 1 cup of water, ground spices and sea salt (taste to see if needs more salt- it will taste bitter at this point but have faith!)

You may wish to add more water - all depends how thick you want your roti to be. We ended up adding nearly 3 cups water total.

Heat your heavy bottomed, stick resistant pan with oil.

Once very hot, slowly spoon out the batter, making sure to layer very thinly in a circular spiral pattern to keep batter thin and uniform. You may want to use a spatula to spread further once done pouring.

Allow to cook until top is bubbled and nearly dry.

Flip the pancake over and cook for another two minutes or so.

Remove from pan and make the next one.

These store very well in the fridge, just heat them up in the oven before serving.

20 Responses to “Split Pea Roti”

  1. Metta said… January 14, 2010
    Mmmm...I LOVE roti. My friend's mom is from Barbados and Guyana and in college I used to go to to their house and eat roti and curry till I was stuffed. Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to make it!
  2. Looks really yummy! I have never had roti!! YUM!! P.S. We went on our honeymoon in Jamaica, so I have a special place in my heart for it!
  3. This sounds absolutely delicious. I usually buy roti from the suriname shop in town. Do you use cooked rice and peas? Yeah I think so. It will have to wait until sunday then. Thanks!
  4. Did you ever see Meet Joe Black? Where Brad Pitt (JOE) is talking with the sick Jamacian lady in the hospital and begins speaking in her native tognue? you just reminded me of that whole scene. sorry... I digress. I am going to have to give this a try. and I love that you bring a bit of the tropics to the cold days of winter. Makes me SMILE. (and so does your HAIR) didn't you just sit and shake your head back and forth to feel the beads hit your neck and face. That's what I would be doing if I had beaded/braided hair...but I am an odd duckie! I used to think I was reincarnated from the late 1800's pioneer days the way I used to be in LOVE with all things from that era. haha but I love me some technology too! sorry for the ramble
  5. Oh I can't wait to make this! It looks so good!
  6. junecutie said… January 14, 2010
    Meghan, Your hair was too cool, but you surprised me with the blue parts. I thought you were partial to pink and purple. I thought about braids like that a couple of times, but I worried that I would not be able to sneak around any more. And I do love my sneaky moods. Just one quick question on the Roti. What does fenugreek bring to the flavor of the dish? I've never to my knowledge eaten anything with fenugreek in it. It kinda sounds all "Rosemary's Baby"ish. Thanks.
    • Pink in my hair? Now that's just silly! Fenugreek? Um... I haven't a clue how to describe it. I think I'll have to make a batch with and a batch without and then let you know. But somehow I think I will come with the apt description of it tasting 'fenugreeky'.
  7. I've never seen a roti recipe using split peas before--what a great idea!
  8. Alexandra said… January 24, 2010
    Hi Meghan, healthy whole grain/legume Roti! I can't wait to try this. Maybe tomorrow.... Did you use cooked rice and peas?
  9. Alexandra said… January 25, 2010
    Thanks for the quick reply!
  10. Mckinley said… February 3, 2010
    I just tried this recipe... I don't think I food processed everything enough as it was a bit crunchy, but totally still edible. Good flavour! I'm going to jerk up some cauliflower and okra tomorrow as roti filler. Yay! Thanks for a bit of sunshine in the winter. PS My fav so far is the snackers/breese recipe. I sometimes cut them in circles, undercook em a bit and use them as wraps.
  11. I tried this recipe this morning and the consistency and flavor were awesome! I'll have to get the cooking/flipping technique down, but with a little practice I'll be alright. The fenugreek/fennel seed/garlic combination is delicious.
  12. What a hilarious and excellent discussion of roti! So excited to make this... I had no idea that split peas are in roti! Molly
  13. [...] though all too often we turn our attention to those other Caribbean inspired meals- the curries, roti, rice and peas, jerk pork and Red Stripe [...]
  14. [...] Fish at the U District Farmer’s Market this weekend. I’ve got split peas soaking for roti, and also fixins for a big [...]
  15. Marissa said… January 28, 2011
    Oh Meghan, I just recently came back from my first trip to Jamaica and I've been thinking the same thing (that I was born into the wrong packaging). Thank God someone feels the same as me. Hoping one day I'll have the courage to attend one of your Caribbean retreats! Until then, THANK YOU for being you and for being an awesome inspiration :)
  16. [...] [...]
  17. Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.

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