Wrap roti, often referred to as a roti, is popular in the Caribbean consisting of a curry stew folded tightly within a Dhalpuri or Paratha roti. The stew within a wrap roti generally contains potatoes and a meat such as chicken, duck, goat, beef, conch or shrimp.
Roti is eaten widely across in the West Indies, especially in countries with large Indo-Caribbean populations such as Trinidad and Tobago. Originally brought to the islands by indentured laborers from South Asia, roti has become a popular staple in the culturally rich cuisines of Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Guyana, Grenada, and Jamaica. In the West Indies, roti is commonly eaten as an accompaniment to various curries and stews. The traditional way of eating roti, is to break the roti by hand, using it to sop up sauce and pieces of meat from the curry. However, in the West Indies, the term roti may refer to both the flat-bread(roti) its self as well as the more popular street food item, in which the roti is folded around a savory filling in the form of a wrap.
The "roti wrap" is the commercialization of roti and curry together as a fast-food or street-food item in the Caribbean. This wrap form of roti originated in Southern Trinidad. It was first created in the mid-1940s by Sackina Karamath, who later founded Hummingbird Roti Shop in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. The wrap was convenient as the meal could be eaten faster and while on the go, as well as keeping one's hands from getting dirty. In Trinidad and Tobago, various wrapped roti are served, including chicken, conch, goat, beef and shrimp. Vegetables can also be added including potato, pumpkin and spinach as well a variety of local condiments; pepper sauce(hot sauce) and mango chutney being the most popular.
The roti wrap quickly gained popularity across the island and spread throughout the rest of the Caribbean. "Roti shops" are now abundant in Trinidad and Tobago and the wrapped roti a staple street food. The wrap is now simply referred to as a roti or just roti. As Caribbeans moved to North American cities such as Toronto, New York, and Montreal, they exported with them the wrapped version of roti. This iconic version is what most North Americans know as roti. The growth in popularity has recently led to referring to the flat-bread its self (roti) that surrounds the filling as a "roti skin" or "roti shell." A practice that is now common in both restaurants and commercial companies.
Various types of roti are eaten throughout the West Indies. Roti is most prominently featured in the diets of people in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. West Indian style roti is primarily made from wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and water, and cooked on a tawa. Certain rotis are also made with butter.
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