Pepper Choka Recipe

Discover the zest of Trinidad in our Pepper Choka recipe. Learn to create this spicy delight bursting with Caribbean flavors

Pepper Choka

    Pepper Choka

  • Cuisine: Trinidadian
  • Category: Condiment, Side dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 80 calories

Pepper Choka is a beloved Trinidadian condiment that ignites the taste buds with its vibrant flavors and fiery heat. Hailing from the sunny shores of Trinidad and Tobago, this zesty accompaniment is a staple in Caribbean cuisine and a testament to the region's love for bold and spicy dishes.

At its heart, Pepper Choka is a simple yet deeply satisfying blend of roasted bell peppers, onions, garlic, and hot peppers. The magic happens when these ingredients come together, creating a symphony of tastes and textures. Roasting the bell peppers imparts a smoky depth to the dish while softening their sweetness.

The minced garlic and finely chopped onions are sautéed until they release their aromatic essence, joining forces with the fiery heat of hot peppers, often Scotch bonnet or habanero, to create a tantalizing aroma. The roasted bell peppers are then added to the mix, melding their charred smokiness with the other flavors.

Pepper Choka is as versatile as it is flavorful. It serves as a robust condiment, a fiery dip, or a zesty side dish. It's the perfect accompaniment to freshly baked roti, fried bake, or even grilled meats. With every bite, it delivers a fiery kick that Trinidadian cuisine is celebrated for, making it a beloved culinary treasure that adds a burst of Caribbean sunshine to any meal.


Spice up your kitchen with the vibrant flavors of Pepper Choka! Dive into Trinidadian culinary magic with our fiery recipe.


  • 3 large red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 hot peppers (like Scotch bonnet or habanero), finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your broiler or grill to high heat. You can also use a gas stove burner if you have one.
  2. Place the whole bell peppers directly on the grill or under the broiler. Roast them, turning occasionally, until the skin is charred and blistered. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once the peppers are charred, remove them from the heat and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let them steam for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to peel the skin.
  4. After steaming, peel the charred skin off the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and chop the flesh into small pieces.
  5. In a skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the minced garlic and chopped onions. Sauté until the onions become soft and translucent.
  7. Stir in the chopped hot peppers (adjust the amount based on your spice preference) and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add the chopped roasted bell peppers to the skillet and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes to combine the flavors.
  9. Season the Pepper Choka with salt and black pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  10. Remove from heat and let the Pepper Choka cool slightly.
  11. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves if desired.
  12. Serve Pepper Choka at room temperature as a condiment or side dish. It pairs wonderfully with roti, bread, grilled meats, or as a flavorful dip.

Enjoy the vibrant and spicy flavors of Trinidadian Pepper Choka! Adjust the level of heat to suit your taste, and feel free to customize it with additional seasonings if desired.

Recipe Video

Pepper Choka

This is a video about Pepper Choka.

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Recipe Tags: Pepper Choka, Pepper Choka Recipe, Recipe, Murtani, Murtani Recipe


Serving Pepper Choka is a delightful experience, and it can be enjoyed in various ways depending on your preference and the occasion. Here's how to serve Pepper Choka:

  1. Condiment: Pepper Choka is commonly served as a condiment or relish alongside other dishes. It pairs exceptionally well with Trinidadian staples like roti, doubles (a Trinidadian street food), and fried bake. Simply spoon a dollop of Pepper Choka onto your main dish to add a spicy kick and depth of flavor.
  2. Dip: You can serve Pepper Choka as a spicy dip for tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetable sticks. Its fiery heat and rich flavors make it an exciting alternative to traditional dips.
  3. Side Dish: Pepper Choka can also be enjoyed as a flavorful side dish. Serve it alongside grilled meats, seafood, or even as a topping for burgers to add a Caribbean twist to your meal.
  4. Bread Spread: Spread Pepper Choka on bread, toast, or sandwiches to create a spicy and flavorful sandwich filling. It can elevate a simple sandwich into a culinary delight.
  5. Barbecue Companion: When hosting a barbecue or cookout, offer Pepper Choka as a condiment for grilled meats. Its bold flavors and heat can enhance the taste of grilled items.
  6. Garnish: Use Pepper Choka as a garnish for soups, stews, or rice dishes. A small spoonful can add a burst of spicy goodness to a wide range of savory dishes.
  7. Customization: Feel free to customize the spiciness of Pepper Choka to suit your taste. If you prefer milder flavors, reduce the amount of hot peppers, and if you crave more heat, increase the quantity.
  8. Presentation: When serving Pepper Choka, you can garnish it with fresh cilantro leaves or a drizzle of olive oil to enhance its appearance and flavor.


  1. Handling Hot Peppers: When working with hot peppers like Scotch bonnet or habanero, wear gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, after handling hot peppers, as the oils can cause irritation.
  2. Roasting Bell Peppers: To roast the bell peppers, you can use a grill, broiler, or even an open flame on a gas stove. Turn them occasionally until the skin is charred and blistered. Steaming them in a covered bowl afterward makes peeling the skin easier.
  3. Char the Garlic and Onions: While sautéing the minced garlic and finely chopped onions, aim to achieve a slight char or caramelization. This adds depth and sweetness to the Pepper Choka.
  4. Adjust Spice Level: The heat of Pepper Choka depends on the type and quantity of hot peppers you use. Start with a smaller amount, and you can always add more if you prefer it spicier. Remove the seeds and membranes of the hot peppers for a milder heat.
  5. Consistency: The texture of Pepper Choka can vary from chunky to smooth, depending on your preference. You can use a food processor or blender to achieve a smoother consistency if desired.
  6. Balancing Flavors: Taste the Pepper Choka before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, or a pinch of sugar to balance the flavors.
  7. Storage: Store any leftover Pepper Choka in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for several days, and its flavors often deepen over time.
  8. Experiment: Don't hesitate to experiment with additional ingredients to customize the recipe to your liking. Some variations include adding roasted tomatoes or a touch of vinegar for acidity.
  9. Traditional Sides: Consider serving Pepper Choka with traditional Trinidadian sides like roti, doubles, or bake for an authentic Caribbean dining experience.

Pepper Choka is all about bold flavors and fiery heat, so feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Whether you like it chunky or smooth, super spicy or mild, it's a versatile condiment that adds a burst of Trinidadian flavor to your dishes. Enjoy the culinary adventure!

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking to make substitutions for some of the ingredients in a Pepper Choka recipe, here are a few options:

  1. Bell Peppers: If you can't find or prefer a different type of pepper, you can substitute red or yellow bell peppers with other sweet peppers like green bell peppers, poblano peppers, or sweet red peppers. The flavor will vary slightly, but it can still be delicious.
  2. Hot Peppers: Adjust the type and quantity of hot peppers based on your spice preference. You can substitute Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers with jalapeños, serrano peppers, or any hot chili peppers you have on hand. Remember to remove the seeds and membranes for milder heat.
  3. Onions: You can use different types of onions as a substitute. Red onions, shallots, or even sweet onions can work well and add a unique flavor to your Pepper Choka.
  4. Garlic: Fresh garlic is preferred for the best flavor, but if you're out of fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder or garlic paste. Keep in mind that the intensity of flavor may vary, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
  5. Olive Oil: While olive oil is commonly used, you can substitute it with other cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil for a different flavor profile.
  6. Garnish: Fresh cilantro leaves are often used for garnish, but you can substitute them with fresh parsley or chives if you prefer or have those herbs on hand.
  7. Spices: Pepper Choka is versatile, and you can adjust the spices to your liking. If you don't have specific spices, feel free to experiment with alternatives or omit them. The core flavors are in the peppers and garlic.


Elevate your culinary journey with Pepper Choka's fiery embrace. Explore Trinidad's vibrant flavors and savor the taste of the Caribbean.

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