Guyanese Cuisine: Savory Beef Curry with Roti


Guyanese cuisine is an amazing combination of the flavors of the Caribbean and South America. The name Guyana is an Amerindian word meaning “Land of Many Waters”. It’s not only a land of many waters, but also of many tastes.  Guyana’s cuisine is very similar to Caribbean cooking and incorporates African, Creole and East Indian traditions. Some popular ingredients in Guyanese cooking are cassava root, sweet potatoes, okra, fruit, vegetables, sorrel, and ginger beer. Today we will be cooking Beef curry with roti. Roti is a traditional Guyanese flatbread that is a staple of Guyanese cuisine. It is usually served with curries and main dishes to use as a utensil to scoop up the food.


Ingredients for Beef Curry 

  • Beef Curry

  • 2 ½ lbs chuck roast cut into 1 inch pieces*

  • 2 tbsp green seasoning

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • 1 lb pumpkin, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • 1 beef bouillon

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tbsp canola oil

  • Curry Paste

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp finely crushed ginger

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • 2 tsp green seasoning

  • 3 tbsp water

Tip: If you don’t have the green seasoning, simply use 1 scallion chopped, a pimento pepper if you have access to one, 1 table spoon thyme, 1 table spoon celery chopped fine, 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Tip: Chuck roast tends to have a lot of fat which you will need to trim but don’t trim all of it. I included a picture of the meat to show how much fat to leave on the meat. Fat equals flavor and it really adds quite a bit of flavor to the curry.

Instructions for Beef Curry

  1. Place beef, green seasoning, salt and 1 tsp curry powder in a large bowl and mix to coat. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours.


  2. To make the curry paste, in a small bowl mix all ingredients until well combined. In a large stew pot over medium fire, add canola oil. When the oil is hot, add curry paste and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

    garam massala

  3. Next add seasoned meat and onion; stir to coat with the curry paste then allow to cook for 15 minutes stirring a few times. Add bouillon, bay leaf and enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover and cook for 1 hour or until tender. I highly recommend using a pressure cooker to cook the beef. If using a pressure, cook for 10 minutes once the pressure starts to whistle.


  4. When the beef is tender, add pumpkin and cook for 15 minutes until pumpkin is tender but not mushy. Once pumpkin is tender remove from the heat and garnish with chopped scallion.


Ingredients for Roti

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 1/2 oz ghee, margarine or butter

  • Water (enough to make a soft, pliable, but not sticky dough)

Instructions for Roti

  1. Mix flour and baking powder. Add enough water to form a smooth, soft dough.

  2. Kneed well and leave half covered with a damp dish cloth

  3. Knead for a second time and divide into four balls.

    roti 1

  4. Flour a surface and roll out dough to 8-9 -inch disks, then spread with ghee and sprinkle with flour.

    roti 2

  5. Cut the flattened dough from the center the edge, roll tightly into a cone shape, press peak into the center of the cone, then flatten.

    roti 3
    roti 4

  6. Leave again for 30 minutes. Sprinkle flour on the board and roll out very thin with a rolling pin.

  7. Bake on moderately hot baking iron (tawah), coating dough with oil on both sides as it cooks.  I do not own a Tawah — a flat, cast iron griddle with no sides, so I used a regular frying pan

    roti 5

  8. Turn on both sides and cook for about 1 minute on each side.

  9. Remove roti from baking iron and clap between both hands for about 15 seconds, while it’s still hot until it is soft and flaky.

    roti 6


Here’s a video to demonstrate how to make the roti if you’re having difficulty with it!

tonight I’m listening to…



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