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May 30, 2003 12:16 PM

Bus up shop?

  • b

Years ago I spent some time in Trinidad and ate what I think they called bus up shop. It consisted of different curries scooped up by a roti kind of bread. Does any one know if this exists in TO. Also, do I have the name right and what does it mean.

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  1. It's actually bus' up shut, which is trini (slang?) for "bust-up shirt" which describes a roti shell so densely packed that it is literally burting at the seams, resembling a torn-up shirt. There are many places to find Trini-style rotis in Toronto, one that comes to mind is in Kensington----the Roti Factory on Baldwin. In this cheerfully gaudy hole-in-the-wall, you'll find first-rate Trinidadian-style takeout rotis (chickpea flour wraps) spiked with killer homemade hot sauces such as coriander, mango and tamarind. Rotis can be lovingly crammed with eggplants, potatoes, long green beans and unripe plantains.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dan

      Thanks for replying. In Trinidad we were actually served small portions of different curries and told to scoop up mouthfulls with torn pieces of roti. Anyone do that here?

      1. re: beth

        Beth - yes, there are roti shops that serve the "bus-up shut" in the style you want - with several different curries and vegetables on the side, instead of wrapped up in the roti.

        They may have it on the menu as "paratha", the original name for this kind of roti. Paratha has evolved among the people of East Indian descent in Trinidad into "bus up shut" and differs in texture and taste from the "parantha" served in Indian restaurants in Toronto.

        ACR Roti and Doubles (north side of Lawrence Ave one traffic light east of Midland) has a paratha special on Fridays and Saturdays. You can inquire about paratha/"bus up shut" at the other Trinidadian roti shops in the city, such as Ali's Roti Shop (Queen and Landsdowne) or Drupatee's (Albion Road east of Islington).

        1. re: migrant23

          Thank you so much, I'll be on my way there next saturday.

          1. re: migrant23

            Yes, it is paratha.
            Went to my local trini expert and she gave me the following link (and recipe).

            PARATHA-ROTI (Affectionately known as Buss-Up-Shut)
            1 lb. flour (4 cups)
            4 tsb. baking powder
            1 tsb. salt
            1 ½ oz. ghee/marg. or butter
            water(appox.1 & ¾ c)

            1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
            2. Add enough water to form a smooth soft dough.
            3. Knead well and leave for ½ hour covered with a damp cloth.
            4. Knead for second time and divide into four balls (loyah).
            5. Flour board and roll out dough to size 8" or 9" as desired, then spread with ghee and sprinkle with flour.
            6. Cut dough from centre to edge, roll tightly into a cone shape, press peak of cone into centre and flatten.
            7. Leave again for 30 min. Sprinkle flour on board and roll out very thin with rolling pin.
            8. Bake on a moderately hot bake stone (tawah) coating dough with oil on both sides as it cooks.
            9. Turn on both sides and cook about ½ mins. each side.
            10. Remove from baking stone and hit with wooden pallette until flaky or wrap in clean cloth and mash up. Often called "Buss-up-Shot."