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How To Get Started Cooking An Authentic Caribbean Dish

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Some Caribbean food can be very complex. But other types of Caribbean food can be pretty simple and are easy to learn if you're just getting started. You don't have to be intimidated and can make a delicious dish using fresh ingredients.

Understanding Caribbean Food

Caribbean cuisine is all about fresh, flavorful ingredients. Use locally-grown produce, meat and fresh fish when possible. Include seasonal fruits and vegetables in your recipes, such as bell peppers, onions, garlic and carrots. They are usually cheaper than the year-round options. Make sure to include a variety of colours, too, as this will make dishes more visually appealing on your plate.

Gathering Your Ingredients

The first step when making Caribbean food is to gather the necessary ingredients. For example, find a recipe and the required ingredients at a nearby grocery store. Common ingredients you might want include curry powder, coconut milk, garlic, ginger and many other types of spices. Adding spices is always essential, but try to find herbs commonly used in Caribbean dishes, such as jerk seasoning and allspice.

Adding Essential Side Dishes

Use side dishes such as plantains and rice. Plantain is a type of banana cooked until golden brown; yellow rice is the process of boiling basmati or other long-grain white rice with saffron and turmeric for an authentic Caribbean flavour. Rice is highly versatile and can be used with anything.

Cooking Your Meal

Use cooking oil such as olive oil for cooking up your dish. Choose a pan that is ideal for searing and frying dishes. Otherwise, it'll be more challenging to sautee your meat. A grill and a food processor will also make it easier to cook your meal. While these meals can be simple, you can make them much more adventurous as you gain more confidence with this type of meal. 

Visiting a Restaurant

One of the best ways to experience authentic Caribbean food is to head to a Caribbean restaurant. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming. The restaurant will be filled with bright colours and upbeat music. You'll be served a delicious and authentic meal with a rum punch or a beer.

Rum punch is one of the oldest cocktails and usually contains rum and fruit juice. However, it's a drink that allows for experimentation if you'd like. Pineapple and grenadine can make your beverage taste sweeter. It's also one of the best ways to have an authentic Caribbean experience.

Look to a dine-in authentic Caribbean food restaurant for more info.