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.

23 Responses to “Split Pea Roti”

  1. 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.
  2. Molly said…
    What a hilarious and excellent discussion of roti! So excited to make this... I had no idea that split peas are in roti! Molly
  3. [...] 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 [...]
  4. [...] Fish at the U District Farmer’s Market this weekend. I’ve got split peas soaking for roti, and also fixins for a big [...]
  5. Marissa said…
    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 :)
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Courage?!?! What would you need courage for. They are a blessing for myself and the peeps who join me.
  6. [...] [...]
  7. amsoil reviews said…
    Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.
  8. marie said…
    I soaked the peas and rice over night, blended them with an immersion blender and they're still a bit crunchy after cooking. I put the rest of the batter in the fridge and will try again tomorrow. Even if they remain a bit crunchy, it's a nice texture. I had no fenugreek or fennel so made without any spice at all. On their own, they have a good flavor. I'm looking for gluten-free whole foods to fill me up during farming season. Making pancakes in advance is a great thing to do for efficient mornings. I'll put this in my farm kitchen rotation and will now search for pea seed and research how much of a hassle it is to thresh, split and winnow peas. Thank you!
  9. Bethany Beyer said…
    Thanks so much! These held together so well and have a very nice flavor. I had a bag of split peas and needed a good easy recipe. Are they eaten plain?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      You can absolutely soak them, then cook them up. They're great in soups too!

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