Preparation 20 mins, cooking 1 hr 20 mins for the curry, 20 mins + 30 mins resting for the roti 4

Caribbean Lamb & Sweet Potato Curry with Clap-Hand Roti

Roti are the Caribbean equivalent of Indian paratha, traditionally served wrapped around a mild, dry West Indian curry and eaten with your hands. The method below reveals where the name ‘clap-hand’ comes from.

Found in this book

Friends & Family Cookbook

BBC Books


Heat 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan, add half the lamb and cook, turning, until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the oil and lamb.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until a rich golden brown. Return the meat to the pan with the garlic, spices, tomatoes and lime juice. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, part-covered, for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the roti. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor, add the butter and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 5 tablespoons water to make a stiff, but soft dough. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Uncover the curry, add 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and the sweet potatoes and cook uncovered for a further 15–20 minutes until they are tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

When ready, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, then form into 4 balls, flatten slightly and roll out into 23-cm (9-inch) rounds about 5mm (1⁄4 inch) thick. Brush with the oil or ghee, fold in half, then into quarters, roll back into balls, and then roll out again.

Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan or flat griddle over a medium heat. Brush each one in turn with a little more oil or ghee, add a roti to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with oil each time you do. Remove from the pan, place in your palm and clap your hands together 3–4 times, taking care not to burn yourself. Wrap the roti in a tea towel and keep warm while you cook the rest.

To serve, spoon some of the curry down the centre of each roti, roll up and serve hot.



  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 800 g (1 3⁄4 lb) diced leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 x 200-g (7oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, about 350 g (12 oz) peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • For the Clap-Hand Roti
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 40 g (11⁄2 oz) chilled butter vegetable oil or ghee, for cooking