Jessie’s Ro-Tea


This is more so I can make this dish again in the future, but I figured why not publish it here? We recently returned from a cruise to the Caribbean with my in-laws and in St. Maarten we tried the beauty that is Roti (despite there being 2 roti joint around the corner from our house). It tasted very similar to a curry I used to make in college, so I was sure that with the right spices, I could do it again. It’s stewing away in the crockpot right now because, let’s face it, these type of dishes are best done slow over a low heat.

I started with this recipe here, but immediately tossed the idea of green beans in my roti because, well, I just didn’t like the idea. The roti we had in St. Maarten had peas, so my wife suggest that, but I laughed her off. Chicken and potatoes would be good enough for us, thank you very much!

…until I got the chicken out of the freezer and discovered it had gone bad. Crap. And there’s some kind of chicken something in there, but my wife put it in and I don’t know if it’s for stock or if it’s boneless chicken thighs, so I’m not gonna chance it. Veggie potato roti it is!

And I don’t have a fresh red chili pepper…and all of my garlic is dead…and I don’t have sunflower oil…and is Indian masala the same as curry masala? Cause that’s all I got! Hokay. So after I chopped up a million and a half potatoes, I couldn’t bring myself to chop up any more. I gave in and dumped in a cup and a half of peas. It actually looks really good! And y’all know me, I can’t bring myself to add just water to a recipe, I used Jessie’s tea for the sauce in this because of the coconut realness. (No more RuPaul for Rita).

So here’s the updated list of ingredients:

1.5 pounds of potatoes cut into bite size chunks. Peel if you like, I’m too damn lazy.

1.5 cups of frozen peas

1 onion chopped as small as you can get it until you start crying and make your wife panic

.5 teaspoon of dried chili peppers

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1.5 Tablespoons Indian masala

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

2 low-sodium chicken bouillon sachets (because of course I didn’t have cubes)

.25 teaspoon cumin

2 cups Jessie’s Tea (I let 2 heaping teaspoons steep for about 5-7 minutes)

3 tbsp olive oil

That’s…similar to the original ingredient list, right? So this is how it panned out: Pour oil into a pan on the stove, but don’t turn it on yet. Look for chicken. Get freezer burn digging for it. Find it and break all of your fingers trying to get the damn meat out of the package only to have the most ungodly smell hit you in the face. Promptly throw it away and try not to gag. Decide to be vegetarian for the night, possibly for life.

Chop onions, cry as soon as first chop is made. Try to convince cat to chop them for you. Call cat dirty names when she wrinkles her nose and runs from the room like a coward. Power through like a boss. Remember old adage about sunglasses helping when chopping onions. Find sunglasses. Still crying, but now look cool.

Mix onions with chili peppers and granulated garlic and set aside. Mix masala, cumin, tomato paste, and bouillon and set aside.  Add oil to pan on the stove. Remember you already added oil to the stove, curse, and try to add oil back to bottle of olive oil. Make huge mess all over stove. Try to wipe up oil with damp wash cloth. Remember basic science as to why that isn’t working. Curse more. Find paper towels. Finally clean up mess.

Heat up oil. Remember the drop of oil on the burner just in time to see the puff of flame on the underside of the pan. Shriek, run away, and then come back with a bucket of water to find it already out.


Okay then.

Shrug and keep water nearby just in case. Add onion mix to the hot oil and cook carefully until onions are tender. Dump in frozen peas and curse a lot as the ice sizzles and pops in the hot oil because you forgot another basic science lesson involving water and oil. Quickly add potatoes, stir to coat, and then add to the crock pot. Add the tea and let it go.

I only have four hours, so I’m going to keep it on high until 6, when the mother in law is coming over for dinner. The original recipe says 5-7 hours on low, but you probably know your crockpot better than I do. Do what you think is best. What I think is best is that I not cook for a while until I’ve got my head back in the game!