Our favourite recipes – Caribbean

Small tomatoes (Public domain CCO)
Tomatoes (Public domain CCO)

For the final post of our mini-series, “Our favourite recipes”, this Tomato Choka recipe has been kindly provided by Bob Ramnanan, CABI Country Coordinator for the Caribbean. Tomato Choka is a quick and easy meal vegetarian meal and can be served with sada roti (flatbread), rice, pasta or potato.

Tomato is one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world, covering an area of 53,000 ha in the Caribbean alone in 2014 (FAOSTAT, 2017), where it faces damage by pests and diseases such as the red spider mite (see our Pest Management Decision Guide) and blossom end rot (see our Plantwise Factsheet for Famers).

Ingredients for Tomato Choka

4 large, well ripened tomatoes
¼ onion
4 garlic cloves
Chilli pepper of your choice
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons of oil
Optional: ginger; cilantro or other fresh herbs


  1. Select four large ripe tomatoes wash and place in boiling water. Leave to simmer until the skin begins to peel off. Roast if you prefer.
  2. Remove skin and mash in a non-plastic bowl then set aside
  3. Finely chop (or grate) quarter of a medium size onions, chilli pepper to taste, and four to five cloves of garlic. Add cilantro, ginger and other fresh seasonings to your taste – this adds some zest to your tomato choka.
  4. Add chopped or grated ingredients (minus the garlic) to mashed tomato
  5. Heat in a ladle (calchul) or small pan if ladle not available, add two to three tablespoons of olive oil (margarine or salted butter will also work). Once the oil is hot add chopped or grated garlic and sauté until light golden brown.
  6. Carefully add hot mixture to the mashed tomato and mix thoroughly adding salt to taste (no salt is also an option).
  7. Serve with choice of pasta, sada roti or potato.

This takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and is very zesty!

FAOSTAT, 2017. Crops. Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC

Lazarus, M., James, W., Haynes, A., 2014. Pest Management Decision Guide. Red spider mite on Solanceous Plants. Wallingford, UK: CABI. http://www.plantwise.org/FullTextPDF/2016/20167800099.pdf

Munro, B., 2013. Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers. Blossom End Rot on Pepper and Tomato. Wallingford, UK: CABI. http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/FactsheetForFarmers.aspx?pan=20167800915



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