Tomato Choka comes from Trinidad and highlights summer produce at its finest. Choka refers to the process of roasting the tomatoes to intensify their flavor before crushing and combining them with garlic, onion, and hot peppers. I paired the Tomato Choka with Sada Roti, a type of pillowy flatbread. It would also be delicious with Chicken Roti or even grilled cheese, like Homemade Zagat mentions.
I used the broiler set to high to char the tomatoes, but you can definitely take advantage of the grilling season and use an outdoor grill or open flame.
In this particular version, oil is heated just until hot and beginning to smoke before drizzling over the top of the thinly sliced onions and tomato mixture. I have come across a couple of recipes that roast the peppers along with the tomatoes. Others also fried the garlic and onions in the pan before adding to the Choka. Adjust the amount of peppers due to your own taste. For extra heat, don’t discard the seeds.
5 medium tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 hot green peppers, stems and seeds discarded
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
Remove the stem from each tomato and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Place on the top rack of the oven and broil until the skins are charred and wrinkled, gently flipping once to char both sides. Remove from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, gently discard the skins and crush the tomatoes into a large bowl. Remove any hard pieces like the cores. The tomatoes can also be charred on the grill.
In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic with some salt and the peppers into a paste. Mix into the crushed tomatoes.
Sprinkle the thinly sliced onions over the top. In a small saucepan, place the olive oil over medium heat. Heat just until hot and beginning to smoke, then remove from heat and immediately drizzle over the sliced onions and tomato mixture. Stir together, top with cilantro if desired, and serve with sada roti.